NGRE SOS: Children’s Charity Slashes Energy Costs with Help from Greg and team

July 08, 2024 by Tony Thornby

£15,000 Solar PV System Installed Free of Charge

Move over DIY SOS’s Nick Knowles and Billy Byrne. NGRE SOS’s very own Greg Bishop and team recently came to the rescue of a children’s charity that was struggling with spiralling energy costs.

Earlier this year, NGRE was approached by Little Miracles, a UK charity that supports families who have children with additional needs, disabilities and life-limiting conditions.

The charity was seeing its energy costs at its Peterborough headquarters, created by the BBC’s DIY SOS in 2013, get out of control, with its average monthly electricity spend tipping £250.

But now with help from NGRE and partners and the installation of a free 32-panel solar PV system, the charity has cut its electricity costs in half, meaning more money will go directly to help the children and their families.

£40,000 Saving to Support Families

The system would usually have cost the charity more than £15,000, but NGRE completed the install free of charge with the hardware being donated by NGRE supplier Segen.

Taking into consideration future energy price rises, it is expected that the green technology will save the charity £40,000 over the next twenty years.

Michelle King, CEO of Little Miracles, said: “We’d been thinking of investing in solar panels for a while, but it’s been financially out of reach.

“But our energy bills have been getting higher and higher and quite frankly getting a bit too much and to be honest, it did keep me awake at night.

“A lot of our funding comes from restricted donations whereby money must be spent in specific ways such as on care equipment, not on gas and electricity.

“And you want your donations to be spent directly on the children, but we couldn’t obviously run without gas and electricity.”

NGRE’s Help – a Weight Lifted off

Michelle said: “Without the intervention of NGRE and the other companies involved, it’d still be out of reach.

“From a selfish point of view, this is like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

“But more importantly, the money that we’d have had to use for electricity bills can now be spent on the young people.”

NGRE: Pleased and Proud to Help

Managing Director of NGRE, Greg Bishop, said: “We were approached to see if we could help, and after hearing Michelle’s remarkable story and the inspirational work the charity does, we were so pleased and proud to get involved.

“I immediately contacted our supplier, Segen, who offered all the equipment for free, and we sent a team over to Peterborough and undertook the install.”

Greg added: “Not only does this mean that the charity will save money on bills now and for years to come, they’ll also have some insulation from the unpredictable future energy price increases.”

Obsessed with Looking at Savings

The 32, 435w solar panels are expected to generate 10,740kWh of electricity per year and are connected to a 10kW SolarEdge inverter which will allow Michelle and her staff monitor their usage, what they generate, the savings they are making and to make changes to make their energy use more efficient.

Michelle said: “I must admit it’s become a bit of an obsession looking at the app and seeing what the panels are generating and what we are saving. And we’re also thrilled that it has helped us reduce our carbon footprint.”

Thank you NGRE

Michelle said: “I would like to say a massive thank you to Greg and NGRE for their support and help to make this happen. This will mean a huge amount to Little Miracles and impact many families now and into the future.”

The project’s brainchild was Little Miracles Trustee Emerson Patton of Bright Business Advice and was also supported by Eyre and Elliston who provided additional electrical items and D&A Scaffolding.

Little Miracles

From very humble beginnings as a drop-in support group, Little Miracles has now grown into a network of 18 branches supporting thousands of children and their families.

In 2013 the charity worked with BBC Children in Need and the DIY SOS team to create its purpose-built centre, The Spinney, which remains its Head Office in Peterborough.

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