Energy
Hot topic

The world of renewable energy is changing fast, with new technology and legislation affecting the leisure industry. Laura-Clare Davies looks at what’s new and provides solutions for reducing energy consumption and costs

By Laura Clare Davies | Published in Leisure Management 2012 issue 3

The management of commercial energy use is beset with challenges, but what it comes down to is ensuring you’re not spending over the odds.

The introduction of Feed-in Tariffs in 2010 drove increases in the installation of both wind farms and photovoltaics across the UK, and the benefits of this can be seen both in the energy savings that can be yielded from sustainable technologies and the profit that can be made from any surplus energy that is generated.

Joining the gang as an emerging payment initiative for renewable energy is the relatively recent Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. Designed to aid business investment in renewable heat technologies, the initiative was launched by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in November 2011 for non-domestic users and has been hailed as the first of its kind in the world.

Simply put, the RHI is a financial incentive scheme that guarantees cashback payments for 20 years on renewable heat technologies. For example, if you were to install a ground source heat pump to manage your building’s heating and cooling, you would not only save money by reducing your need for gas or oil, but you would also be paid a fixed rate for the heat you generate.

Of course the government never tires of reminding us of the UK’s carbon reduction targets – to reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 – and the RHI is the latest in a line of initiatives that will certainly contribute to encouraging sustainability. The bigger picture, however, is how the RHI can work for businesses as part of an effective energy-saving strategy.

THE POTENTIAL
Born from a desire to move the UK towards diversifying its energy sources, the RHI is a step-change to reducing our reliance on traditional fossil fuels supplies, the cost for which has been on the increase.
The generation of heat accounts for a staggering 47 per cent of the UK’s total energy consumption, and through the RHI the government has committed that 12 per cent of heating will come from renewable sources by 2020. (Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change, March 2011).

So the intentions are clear but the question on everyone’s lips is how the RHI scheme can be utilised in the best interests of their business.

The answer is simpler than one might assume: the key is determining which system best suits your operation.

The beauty of the RHI is undoubtedly the profit that can be made from the energy produced. Through the scheme, generators can be paid up to 8.9p per kWh, although the tariff – administered by Ofgem – depends on the systems used and volume of energy generated.

PICKING THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY
There are lots of options, including biomass boilers, solar panels, Combined Heat and Power Plants (CHP) and Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP). A leisure centre that requires a continuous supply of hot water would benefit from a CHP plant or a biomass boiler to replace older heating systems that require gas or oil, while a ground source heat pump would be more suitable for a building that requires seasonal heating and cooling.

FINANCING THE SOLUTION
The obvious question is where to source the capital for the investment. If you’re looking to reduce energy spend, it's unlikely you’ll have the capital available to enter the RHI.

As the scheme matures, financing packages will emerge but already we're finding that energy suppliers, for example, will provide renewable heat technology alongside their existing services. Likewise, there are many lending options specifically designed for the installation of efficiency solutions, such as the Carbon Trust, which will provide the upfront capital costs for equipment that presents an attractive return on investment.

Laura-Clare Davies is business development manager at The Energy Desk

Details: +44 (0)800 3777 889

[email protected]

www.theenergydesk.co.uk

Harnessing the Power of Biomass Fuel

Energy conservation specialist Carbon Control played a key role in a £500,000 project at the Tre-Ysgawen Hall Country House Hotel and Spa on Anglesey in North Wales.

The hotel is thought to be the first in Wales to harness the power of biomass for its heating and hot water.

Carbon Control carried out a site assessment ahead of procuring and project managing the installation of a wood chip-powered biomass boiler and purpose-built energy centre.

The equipment will cost the hotel £40,000 a year to run, less than half what it was previously spending on oil, and the business will also benefit from subsidies under the government's Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.

Biomass is a renewable energy source which uses material from living, or recently-living organisms such as wood, waste, gas, and alcohol fuels to power the boiler environmentally.

 



The Tre-Ysgawen uses a biomass boiler
Renewable Heat Incentive

Ask TED, The Energy Desk’s specialist help desk, answers your questions

Have many companies applied to the Renewable Heat Incentive since it launched in November 2011? 
As with all new schemes there's been a bedding-in period and renewable heat systems can take three months to design and install. Although the scheme saw limited take-up initially, we – and our technology partner Constructive Renewables – are noticing a steady rise in applications as awareness increases.

For how long will the RHI tariff last and how frequently will I receive payments?
The scheme guarantees payments for 20 years on energy generated from renewable heat sources, though the tariffs will vary based on the size of the system and the volume of energy produced. Participants will receive quarterly payments, regulated by Ofgem.

How will the RHI help the UK achieve its carbon reduction targets?
Renewable heat technologies such as biomass boilers and solar thermal systems are essentially carbon neutral, whereby they produce and emit no CO2. So not only is the scheme financially beneficial, but it is also set to make a huge environmental impact as adoption increases.

If I installed a renewable heat technology system, would I still need a traditional electricity supply?
Renewable heat systems generally replace the heating of water and space. For example, if you have a boiler system that uses gas or oil and supplies your central heating and hot water supply, by replacing it with a Ground Source Heat Pump, you will no longer need your gas or oil supply. 

How do I know which renewable heat system is suitable for me?
There are many different technologies, the application of which will vary depending on your operations. For example, if you have a requirement for heating and cooling, a Ground Source Heat Pump would be an appropriate option. Alternatively, if you have a boiler that uses oil, you could replace it with a biomass boiler. If you're unsure, seek guidance to ensure you get the maximum benefit from your system.

If I already have a renewable heat system, will I qualify for the RHI?
Existing systems can qualify for the scheme but on the condition that they were installed after 15 July 2009.

 



The Energy Desk’s
Renewable heat
Sustainable technologies
Renewable heat
 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Leisure Management
2012 issue 3

View issue contents

Leisure Management - Hot topic

Energy

Hot topic


The world of renewable energy is changing fast, with new technology and legislation affecting the leisure industry. Laura-Clare Davies looks at what’s new and provides solutions for reducing energy consumption and costs

Laura Clare Davies, The Energy Desk
Renewable energy
Renewable heat
Sustainable technologies
Renewable heat

The management of commercial energy use is beset with challenges, but what it comes down to is ensuring you’re not spending over the odds.

The introduction of Feed-in Tariffs in 2010 drove increases in the installation of both wind farms and photovoltaics across the UK, and the benefits of this can be seen both in the energy savings that can be yielded from sustainable technologies and the profit that can be made from any surplus energy that is generated.

Joining the gang as an emerging payment initiative for renewable energy is the relatively recent Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. Designed to aid business investment in renewable heat technologies, the initiative was launched by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in November 2011 for non-domestic users and has been hailed as the first of its kind in the world.

Simply put, the RHI is a financial incentive scheme that guarantees cashback payments for 20 years on renewable heat technologies. For example, if you were to install a ground source heat pump to manage your building’s heating and cooling, you would not only save money by reducing your need for gas or oil, but you would also be paid a fixed rate for the heat you generate.

Of course the government never tires of reminding us of the UK’s carbon reduction targets – to reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 – and the RHI is the latest in a line of initiatives that will certainly contribute to encouraging sustainability. The bigger picture, however, is how the RHI can work for businesses as part of an effective energy-saving strategy.

THE POTENTIAL
Born from a desire to move the UK towards diversifying its energy sources, the RHI is a step-change to reducing our reliance on traditional fossil fuels supplies, the cost for which has been on the increase.
The generation of heat accounts for a staggering 47 per cent of the UK’s total energy consumption, and through the RHI the government has committed that 12 per cent of heating will come from renewable sources by 2020. (Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change, March 2011).

So the intentions are clear but the question on everyone’s lips is how the RHI scheme can be utilised in the best interests of their business.

The answer is simpler than one might assume: the key is determining which system best suits your operation.

The beauty of the RHI is undoubtedly the profit that can be made from the energy produced. Through the scheme, generators can be paid up to 8.9p per kWh, although the tariff – administered by Ofgem – depends on the systems used and volume of energy generated.

PICKING THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY
There are lots of options, including biomass boilers, solar panels, Combined Heat and Power Plants (CHP) and Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP). A leisure centre that requires a continuous supply of hot water would benefit from a CHP plant or a biomass boiler to replace older heating systems that require gas or oil, while a ground source heat pump would be more suitable for a building that requires seasonal heating and cooling.

FINANCING THE SOLUTION
The obvious question is where to source the capital for the investment. If you’re looking to reduce energy spend, it's unlikely you’ll have the capital available to enter the RHI.

As the scheme matures, financing packages will emerge but already we're finding that energy suppliers, for example, will provide renewable heat technology alongside their existing services. Likewise, there are many lending options specifically designed for the installation of efficiency solutions, such as the Carbon Trust, which will provide the upfront capital costs for equipment that presents an attractive return on investment.

Laura-Clare Davies is business development manager at The Energy Desk

Details: +44 (0)800 3777 889

[email protected]

www.theenergydesk.co.uk

Harnessing the Power of Biomass Fuel

Energy conservation specialist Carbon Control played a key role in a £500,000 project at the Tre-Ysgawen Hall Country House Hotel and Spa on Anglesey in North Wales.

The hotel is thought to be the first in Wales to harness the power of biomass for its heating and hot water.

Carbon Control carried out a site assessment ahead of procuring and project managing the installation of a wood chip-powered biomass boiler and purpose-built energy centre.

The equipment will cost the hotel £40,000 a year to run, less than half what it was previously spending on oil, and the business will also benefit from subsidies under the government's Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.

Biomass is a renewable energy source which uses material from living, or recently-living organisms such as wood, waste, gas, and alcohol fuels to power the boiler environmentally.

 



The Tre-Ysgawen uses a biomass boiler
Renewable Heat Incentive

Ask TED, The Energy Desk’s specialist help desk, answers your questions

Have many companies applied to the Renewable Heat Incentive since it launched in November 2011? 
As with all new schemes there's been a bedding-in period and renewable heat systems can take three months to design and install. Although the scheme saw limited take-up initially, we – and our technology partner Constructive Renewables – are noticing a steady rise in applications as awareness increases.

For how long will the RHI tariff last and how frequently will I receive payments?
The scheme guarantees payments for 20 years on energy generated from renewable heat sources, though the tariffs will vary based on the size of the system and the volume of energy produced. Participants will receive quarterly payments, regulated by Ofgem.

How will the RHI help the UK achieve its carbon reduction targets?
Renewable heat technologies such as biomass boilers and solar thermal systems are essentially carbon neutral, whereby they produce and emit no CO2. So not only is the scheme financially beneficial, but it is also set to make a huge environmental impact as adoption increases.

If I installed a renewable heat technology system, would I still need a traditional electricity supply?
Renewable heat systems generally replace the heating of water and space. For example, if you have a boiler system that uses gas or oil and supplies your central heating and hot water supply, by replacing it with a Ground Source Heat Pump, you will no longer need your gas or oil supply. 

How do I know which renewable heat system is suitable for me?
There are many different technologies, the application of which will vary depending on your operations. For example, if you have a requirement for heating and cooling, a Ground Source Heat Pump would be an appropriate option. Alternatively, if you have a boiler that uses oil, you could replace it with a biomass boiler. If you're unsure, seek guidance to ensure you get the maximum benefit from your system.

If I already have a renewable heat system, will I qualify for the RHI?
Existing systems can qualify for the scheme but on the condition that they were installed after 15 July 2009.

 



The Energy Desk’s

Originally published in Leisure Management 2012 issue 3

Published by The Leisure Media Company Ltd Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ. Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd