Energy co-op offers free boilers to community buildings

A Bury energy co-op is offering free biomass boilers to social and community buildings, aiming to encourage more people to take up renewable heat technology. Biomass Energy Co-op has...

A Bury energy co-op is offering free biomass boilers to social and community buildings, aiming to encourage more people to take up renewable heat technology.

Biomass Energy Co-op has developed the scheme in partnership with Strand Energy, and it is designed to reduce the UK’s fossil fuel usage. The biomass boilers can use waste such as cardboard, olives, nuts, straw and coffee as sources of energy.

Chris O’Connor, technical director at Biomass, explained how the organisations would only have to pay for the heat they use – not the boiler’s installation or maintenance. “As an experienced biomass installer and community benefit society ourselves we will prepare the site for installation, deliver and install the new boiler to the customer, remotely monitor the system and provide all service and maintenance requirements,” he said.

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The initiative has been made possible because biomass boilers qualify for Renewable Heat Incentive payments from the government. The payments comprise quarterly grants for the heat used, which in turn cover the capital cost of the boiler over time.

Ricky Davies, Biomass director, explained: “Whilst our existing customers are already saving at least 50% of their annual heating costs, over the last few years or so we’ve found that many community and charity buildings are not able to gain the benefit and lower their carbon outputs due to the large up front capital outlay required. These organisations simply don’t have large amounts of cash sat around to invest.

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“As such, our free boiler option will be most suited to those organisations which haven’t got the capital but would love the benefits of renewable technologies and the savings on their energy bills. Additionally, our ‘buy-out’ clause gives customers the option of taking the subsidies themselves once the initial capital cost is repaid.

“Whilst there is inevitably some qualifying criteria regarding the right type of building and size, we are confident that this will be a great opportunity for good causes to both join the green revolution and reduce one of their largest bills.”

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