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We all know trees can help to reduce the effects of climate change, and now the Forestry Commission Wales offices in Llandovery are also doing their bit for the planet.
New solar photo-voltaic (PV) panels have been fitted to a south facing roof to generate enough electricity to light the offices, run the computers and keep other essential appliances such as the kettle working!
The panels are the latest energy-cutting venture designed to lessen the building’s carbon footprint since 2010.
The energy efficiency of the offices, which accommodate up to 40 staff, has been transformed over the past few years with the installation of double glazing, loft insulation and replacing inefficient electric storage heaters with a less energy intensive gas fired wet heating system.
Forestry Commission Wales Area Land Agent Ieuan Williams said, “The offices are fairly old and used to take a lot of energy to heat, but our recent improvements have really made a difference.
“An independently assessed Energy Performance Certificate has shown that our energy efficiency rating has increased massively from a G to a B since 2010.
“The new solar PV panels are already a great success, generating electricity from day one, despite the grim weather. Even with grey winter skies, we’ve already had a day when we generated more electricity than we used!”
The offices could be made even greener, with the addition of a woodchip boiler to run the heating system being investigated.
Staff are also looking at green developments at the Garwnant visitor centre, with a hydroelectric scheme, solar PVs and a woodfuel boiler all under consideration.
Forest District Manager Neil Stoddart said, “We’ve worked very hard to increase the efficiency of our office, and we’re excited about the prospects for new developments at our visitor centre, too.
“The forests we manage can make a great contribution to mitigating climate change, but this work on our buildings shows that we can make a real difference to carbon emissions in everything we do.”
Caption: The new solar photo-voltaic panels which are reducing the offices’ carbon footprint.
NOTES TO EDITORS
A total of 14.3 per cent of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Government.
Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.
For more information on the Forestry Commission Wales offices in Llandovery, contact Ieuan Williams on 0300 068 0261, mobile 07825 832423, email email@example.com.
More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on www.forestry.gov.uk/wales
Visit News at FC Wales for news, images, press office contact details and links to case studies.
Press office contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, email firstname.lastname@example.org