We’re cutting carbon emissions with new technology

Published: Monday, 27 July, 2020

Stroud District Council is set to slash the carbon emissions from two of its biggest buildings by investing in a greener way of heating them.

Gas boilers can be replaced by water source heat pumps at the council’s Ebley Mill headquarters and Brimscombe Port Mill.

The new technology should save carbon dioxide emissions of up to 156 tonnes every year across the two sites. And thanks to an annual payment from Ofgem’s Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, most of the initial set-up costs will be recouped over the course of 20 years.

“As a council we have declared a climate emergency and though we are carbon neutral, we have committed to the whole district being carbon neutral by 2030,” said council leader Doina Cornell. “This is just one of the many measures we are taking to lead by example, make our carbon footprint even lower, and recommit to one of our key Corporate Delivery Plan visions to help the community minimise its carbon footprint, adapt to climate change and recycle more.”

How does it work?
Heat naturally flows from hot to cold, and a heat pump moves heat in the opposite direction - it pumps heat from a cooler ‘source’ to a warmer ‘sink’, as a domestic fridge does. In a similar way, it is possible to transfer heat from the external environment into a building’s heating system. Both buildings are next to the River Frome, which makes this possible.

How will it be funded and how much carbon dioxide will be saved?
Ebley Mill’s scheme will cost approximately £1.05million and provide a CO2 saving of 70-110 tonnes per year. Approximately 80% of the initial capital costs will be recovered through RHI payments over a period of 20 years. The Brimscombe Port Mill scheme will cost around £380,000 save 27-46 tonnes of CO2 per year. All of the initial capital costs will be recovered through RHI payments over 20 years. Both heat pump systems are expected to last for 25 years.

At a full council meeting on Thursday, July 16, it was agreed to allocate capital funding in 2020/2021 to invest in water source heat pumps and in consultation with the Leader, the Head of Property Services was given delegated authority to proceed with the procurement and installation of the heat pumps subject to necessary consents from the Environment Agency and a successful application to the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme.

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