The Croft has taken a huge step towards becoming zero-carbon thanks to 100% funding it received for biomass boiler systems.
The Mayor of Stratford Upon Avon, Cllr Ian Fradgley, officially opened the eco-friendly heating solution. It replaces the school's old oil boilers and:
What's more, the little-known 'Biomass ESCO' scheme that made it possible, means that all of the operation and maintenance of the system is fully taken care of, with the school simply purchasing heat as required.
"This is a marvellous addition," said The Croft School's Director of Project Development, Barney Thornton, "as it has given us the chance to massively reduce the amount of fossil fuels we use. As a forward-thinking school, it's important for us to set a positive example to pupils about the benefits of using sustainable energy and it's great that we can do this without huge financial risk.
"Outsourcing the operational risk of our boilers and simply buying heat as we need it is transformational. The Forest Fuels Biomass ESCO has made it possible for us to have a brand new boiler system without any capital investment, which was particularly attractive to us with our aging fossil fuel boilers. What made it most appealing, though, was the fact that all future maintenance and repairs are taken care of, so we'll have no unknown costs or resources. Our site staff will save a lot of the time they previously spent looking after our old boilers."
The little-known 'Forest Fuels Biomass ESCO" scheme that The Croft School took advantage of is open to all schools that require replacement boilers for their heat and hot water. For The Croft School, it provided all the upfront costs of their new biomass system, including the boiler itself, the system design, its installation, and all planning and development costs.
"We now have a brand new heating system that is operated by Forest Fuels, who take all the responsibility for maintenance, servicing and fuel supply," added Barney. "And, as energy costs are a huge consideration for us, it's reassuring to know that we'll be using local fuel, rather than having to buy oil or gas from big energy companies that respond to unpredictable world energy prices."
The Croft School's biomass boiler generates 700,000 Kwh of heat every year. That's enough renewable energy to heat around 30 average houses, burning super-efficient wood pellets that are supplied locally by Forest Fuels.
"The Biomass ESCO scheme is a great solution for The Croft School and indeed any schools that are looking to replace their old heating systems," said Peter Solly from Forest Fuels, "because they can do this without worrying about any future issues.
"Schools don't pay a single penny upfront, but receive a modern new boiler, designed precisely for their requirements – the only thing you have to pay for is the cost of the heat you use."