As the cost of fuel continues to rise, more and more individuals, businesses and community groups are looking towards renewable energies to reduce both running costs and carbon output. Recent hikes in fuel costs have pushed more people into looking into alternatives.

Gedling Borough Council in Nottingham is the latest group to consider solar power as an alternative to traditional electricity options. The council have had a 79kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed on the roof of a local leisure centre – the Richard Herrod Centre.

By installing the solar panels, the council will significantly reduce its annual running costs and the amount of carbon produced by the building.

Councillor Jim Creamer, portfolio holder for environment at Gedling Borough Council, said: "Solar PV is one of the main ways for the council to meet demands to save energy and to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the building and fuel bills.

"We looked into the opportunity to invest further into solar PV and the extensive roof area of the Richard Herrod Centre made it the perfect choice. Many of our larger public buildings are now fitted with solar panels, with the income generated from the feed in tariff reinvested for the benefit of Gedling residents."

This was the council's fifth investment in solar panels, with other projects including the installation of two 7kW systems at the Civic Centre at Arnot Hill Park in Arnold and two 9kW systems on the roofs of the adjacent Jubilee House buildings.

Commenting on the installation, a spokesperson from industry specialists The Eco Experts said: "It is great news that this leisure centre has embraced solar technology. It will receive income on the energy it generates as well as saving money on energy bills, meaning it is a sound financial investment.

"Not only that, the installation will provide work for local businesses and help boost the UK’s renewables market. We hope to see lots of other businesses taking a leaf out of The Richard Herrod Centre’s book."