Mid Wales

Llangattock in Powys crowned UK's greenest community

Solar panels being fitted to a home
Image caption Solar panels being fitted to a home in Llangattock

A village in the Brecon Beacons has been named Britain's greenest community.

Llangattock Green Valleys project won the Welsh final of the British Gas challenge in 2009, but has now scooped the British title as well.

The village, near Crickhowell in Powys, has won £100,000 to spend on a local environmental project.

Judges said villagers had shown "some amazing levels of commitment to cutting carbon emissions".

Llangattock was chosen from 100 projects across the UK to be one of the final 14 communities who would go head-to-head over 14 months as part of the Green Streets challenge, a project helping communities to save energy and generate their own energy.

Michael Butterfield, from the Llangattock scheme, said: "Winning Green Streets is incredibly exciting.

"We've all worked really hard towards this and it's great to see that British Gas really understands and appreciates what we're trying to do here in Llangattock.

"Llangattock Green Valleys' aim is to make our community carbon negative by 2015, so as well as promoting energy efficiency across the board we plan to become a net exporter of renewable energy.

"As well as reducing our carbon footprint, this strategy will bring revenue, jobs and skills into the community and help us build a strong community asset base.

CO2 emissions

"It's a tall order, but thanks to Green Streets we're already well on the way with solar PV (photo-voltaic), micro-hydro and ambitious plans for a community scale anaerobic digestion facility."

The project scooped £140,000 when it won the Welsh final in November 2009.

Over the past 18 months a number of measures have reduced the village's energy use and CO2 emissions.

Solar panels and 100 radiator panels have been installed at the school, an air source heat pump has been added to the hall, while 43 homes in Llangattock have installed 655 energy efficiency measures including insulation, solar panels, a biomass boiler, multi-fuel stoves and new boilers.

As a result the community expects to save £62,000 over five years and nearly 200 tonnes of CO2.

Gearoid Lane, managing director of British Gas new markets, said: "Over the last 14 months the people of Llangattock have shown some amazing levels of commitment to cutting carbon emissions, changing their behaviour and educating the wider community about what can be done.

"We are thrilled to crown them Green Streets champions."

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