Schools Low-Carbon Programme

An initiative to achieve low-carbon energy installations for schools and other estates on oil, at the least possible risk and without the requirement for capital investment.

ReEnergise is currently contacting schools and rural estates that use oil for heating, to gauge interest in a new financing scheme that we hope will provide the catalyst for converting before the Renewable Heat Incentive closes for new installations on 1st April 2021. For now, we’ve called it the Schools Low-Carbon Programme because it’s been developed in response to feedback from bursars and school governing bodies about existing options. However, it would work equally well for any rural estates seeking to transition without needing to find the capital.

Since first publicising it in mid-December last year 6 schools and one rural estate have already indicated an interest.

The nub of the issue is that there is a clear conflict between the national need to transition to low-carbon energy systems over the next few years and the challenges and risks that schools face in seeking to transition: in particular, a lack of capital for this type of project and no desire to be tied into a long-term lease.

We want to encourage as many schools as possible to consider this concept seriously in the coming year. For clients it would provide:

  • The same or better levels of heat.
  • Reduced annual operating costs.
  • Budget security.
  • A lot less hassle with the heating.
  • Excellent sustainability credentials.
  • Confidence of value for money.
  • No need to find the capital or be tied to any long-term fixed lease repayments.

We will run each project on an open-book basis, at a level of profit agreed in advance.

If any reader is interested and has not already received a direct communication about this, please let us know and we’ll provide more detail.

We do believe this will prove a game-changer.


Trumpton: Episode 2. After Hurricane Harry

Mayor Trump has called a meeting in the market place. He is looking quite angry today.

‘Ahem. Some people here, bad people, have caused a trail of chaos and destruction in the town. It’s bad. Very bad. My new conservatory has been totally totalled. Gone. Not a conservatory anymore.’

Yes,’ said Mr Troop, the Town Clerk, who had been reinstated again and was learning to be a bit more mindful of who paid his wages. ‘The total bill for damages amounts to over £45, which is very serious.’

‘Serious,’ said Mayor Trump.

‘It was the b****y hurricane,’ said Chippy Minton, the carpenter and a known activist (trouble maker). ‘You’re smoking the wrong dope!’

‘My shop was flattened’ said Mr Clamp the greengrocer. ‘Fruit and veg everywhere, all mashed up.’

‘You could sell veggy smoothies now,’ said Mrs Minton.

‘Not funny,’ said Clamp.

‘I read a report by the UK Committee on Climate Change’ said Mrs Cobbitt the flower seller. ‘It said that we are already experiencing the symptoms of global warming and that it’s no coincidence that there are more hurricanes and fires and things now.’

‘Totally fake news,’ said Mayor Trump. ‘There have always been hurricanes and fires and bad stuff. Anyway, it snowed last week so how can there be global warming?’

‘Because,’ said Mrs Cobbitt, ‘warming causes more moisture in the air which leads to more extreme precipitation events. More snowing is just a symptom of that.’

‘I don’t believe it,’ said Mayor Trump, getting more orange, as he did whenever he was challenged and couldn’t get his way by bullying people. ‘Global warming is just a Chinese plot.’

‘Well global scientific opinion seems pretty unanimous about it now,’ said Mr Wilkins the plumber. He always kept himself to himself, so it was a surprise to hear him pipe up now.

‘I’ve been reading up on it,’ he said, as the others looked round at him with raised eyebrows. ‘We badly need to reduce our carbon emissions and clean up our act, or we’ll be in the doo-doo. I’ve started installing a heat pump in my house. It’ll work a treat, and the subsidies are fantastic. I’m actually going to save a lot of money compared to my oil-fired system.’

Miss Lovelace the Milliner started to see Mr Wilkins in quite a new light and moved over to stand next to him.

‘It’s a trap,’ said Mayor Trump.

‘No. I’ve had an independent assessment and it all stacks up,’ said Mr Wilkins. ‘Heat pumps are great. They’re clean; and the rate of subsidy is the best. It’s really going to help my bottom line.’ And he winked at Miss Lovelace.

‘Actually, we could set up a shared ground loop around the town and get lots of properties on it,’ said Mrs Cobbitt, who seemed to have become the local expert on these things. ‘The government is really keen on that now. It’s a good way for everybody to benefit.’

Mayor Trump was about to say something really quite rude, but luckily – as it was before 9pm – at that very moment the fire brigade arrived to rescue the town cat who had got washed up onto one of the roofs during the flood that came with the hurricane.

And the rest is history…


Firle Village Community Funded District Heating System

We are working with Brighton and Hove Energy Services Cooperative (BHESCo) towards providing the village of Firle in East Sussex with a community funded district heating system (DHS) providing both heat and domestic hot water (DHW). The village is off the main gas grid and the majority of properties are currently heated using oil boilers. A low-carbon DHS will not only save money for householders and other property owners but will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the village and other emissions.

Firle has developed as a linear village between the South Downs and the A27. It has an existing biomass energy centre at the southern end serving Firle Place Manor House and stables. Despite this there was an initial preference expressed for the DHS to be heat pump based.

As technical consultants we decided that the best way to analyse the options was to split the village into three zones. We considered multiple combinations of options from all three zones being fed from an extension to the current energy centre through to various different technical solutions for each zone.

We discounted the possibility of using a ground source heat pump (GSHP) to feed an insulated DHS because the constant demand for DHW meant the required output temperature was too high to run a GSHP efficiently. We concluded that the zone covering the main part of the village should be supplied by a DHS fed by a biomass boiler housed in an extension to the current energy centre. Biomass is ideally suited to this high temperature requirement and can meet the demands of the densely packed village centre with a number of higher demand non-domestic properties. Critically, it provides the most economic solution and attracts the non-domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) for all heat produced. The Firle Estate manages its own woodland to produce the woodchip for the current boiler and are considering expanding the area under management to provide woodchip for the new system.

For the other two zones, with less density of properties, we are proposing a series of shared ground loop GSHPs. Using this approach means that it is ground temperature “brine” circulating in uninsulated pipes rather that high temperature water. Recent changes in the RHI rules mean that this system attracts non-domestic RHI.

The Firle Estate have given the go-ahead so the next step is to canvas the villagers on whether they will sign-up to the system.