The Town of Stratford plans to install solar panels on its town hall to save electricity costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The panels will cover much of the gymnasium roof, and are part of an overall community energy plan.

Stratford Town Hall

The Town Hall is the largest building owned by Stratford. (Laura Meader/CBC)

"If we can heat this building and light it more efficiently, that brings our costs down which hopefully has an impact on keeping taxes down and providing funding for other programs," said Mayor David Dunphy.

Reduce carbon footprint

Dunphy explained the town wants to leave less of a carbon footprint and less dependent on fossil fuels, and the town hall is the largest building the town owns and the biggest consumer of energy.

David Dunphy

Mayor David Dunphy expects the savings to be about $15,000 per year. (Laura Meader/CBC)

"What it's going to do is prove that solar energy can be deployed efficiently and effectively in the town," he said.

The town rents a portion of the building to the Public Schools Branch, but the solar panels will only be connected to the town's portion of the building.

Hoping for additional funding

The project will cost $200,000. The town is paying for half and hopes to access provincial or fedral infrastructure funding for the rest.

Dunphy explained there are a number of programs through which the town could qualify for so-called green funding. 

stratford gym

The Stratford gymnasium will be one of the areas to benefit from the solar power. (Laura Meader/CBC)

"We're hoping to get $100,000 in funding, some green infrastructure money," he said.

Dunphy said the town expects to save about $15,000 through the project, and said by selling surplus power to Maritime Electric the panels could pay for themselves in about six years.

Stratford hopes to install the panels this summer.