DORSET’S biggest private landlord has installed 200 solar panels on the roof of its HQ – allowing it to charge an electric car.
DWP Housing Partnership – formerly Dave Wells Properties – has spent £60,000 on the photovoltaic panels on its building at St Clements Road, Boscombe.
The 50KW system converts sun electricity, providing power for the 30-40 people out of its 100 staff who are in the building at any one time.
The company’s Nissan LEAF can be charged directly from the solar power and can go 124 miles on a full charge.
The car is kept charging in its parking bay when not in use. It performs like a petrol car, accelerating from 0-60mph in 7.4 seconds, with a top speed of 98mph Steve Wells, of DWP Housing Partnership, said: “Investing in green technologies makes sense.
“We anticipate that the outlay for the solar panels will be recouped within six years.
“When the sun is shining the panels provide enough power for our needs and any excess is sold back to the national grid.
“We are also able to charge our electric car, which we’ve been very impressed with.
“We took it on for a trial period and were so pleased with it we’ve kept it and aim to add more electric vehicles in the future.
“It costs just two pence per mile to run compared with 14 or 15 pence for a normal, petrol-powered car.”
Tim Bamford of Savills Energy Team in Wimborne, who consulted on the installation, said: “With energy prices predicted to rise significantly over the next 10 years, solar PV offers an excellent opportunity to mitigate these ever increasing costs.” DWP Housing Partnership houses more than 3,000 tenants in and around Bournemouth and is investing in new developments.