Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Villagers' energy-cutting victory

The winning team team from the Green Valleys project and the judges
The winning team from the Green Valleys project and the judges

A village in the Brecon Beacons has scooped £140,000 after winning a challenge set by British Gas to cut its energy consumption.

Llangattock Green Valleys project in Powys has won the Welsh final of the company's green streets competition.

The community pitched energy saving ideas to judges who selected their proposals ahead of two other finalists.

Plans for Llangattock include supplying 60% of the village's electricity through a micro-hydro system.

People behind the project also intend to install solar panels on the village hall and audit 20 homes to make them energy efficient.

Renewable technology experts from British Gas will now work with villagers to "define the scope of the project" and identify what support and funding is needed.

We are thrilled to have received this support and recognition from the British Gas Green Street programme
Michael Butterfield, Llangattock Green Valleys project

Michael Butterfield of Llangattock Green Valleys project said they were "thrilled to have received this support and recognition".

He said there were "ambitious plans to install solar panels within the community, audit 20 local homes in order to make them super energy efficient and develop micro-hydro generation and irrigation systems for the Llangattock allotments".

"What started off as a small idea to engage the community in practical energy saving initiatives has grown into a project that now stretches across the Brecon Beacons National Park."

The British Gas Green Streets challenge said it was investing £2m in 14 UK communities to help support innovative energy-saving projects and carbon reduction.

In Wales, Llangattock Green Valleys pitched against two other communities at Grwyne Fawr, also in the Beacons, and a group in Chepstow.

British Gas said the village would benefit from a package worth in the region of £140,000.

Chris Jansen of British Gas, who sat on the judging panel, said: "Green Streets was established to give people an opportunity to develop innovative projects that save and generate energy, at the same time as actively engaging the local community.

"I was impressed with the amount of hard work, effort and creativity from every project that made it through to the Welsh regional final. It was inspirational to see such a strong desire to make a difference to their local community."

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