More power to your elbow: synagogues urged to go solar for cash

By Jessica Elgot, July 15, 2010

Synagogues could make more than £1m a year producing electricity if they installed solar panels on their roofs, new research has shown.

British Gas has estimated that synagogues in the UK could make more than £1,269,468 via the "Feed-In Tariff".

The scheme, launched by the former Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband, means that synagogues which install solar panels would get fixed payments for every unit of electricity they produce.

The energy company also estimated that synagogues in the UK would save a combined £204,204 in energy bills every year by producing their own electricity.

The initiative - which has been proposed to all religious buildings across the UK - could reduce carbon emissions by up to 42,000 tonnes each year, equivalent to the carbon emitted by more than 600 transatlantic flights.

Phil Bentley, managing director of British Gas, said: "Religious buildings are particularly well suited to solar power as they tend to have large south-facing roofs which receive direct sunlight for the main part of the day."

North Western Reform Synagogue in Golders Green is investigating putting solar panels on its roof but said it would be "at vast expense".

Last updated: 12:50pm, July 15 2010