Three Northumberland County Council fire stations operated by Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service have reduced their reliance on fossil fuels and identified innovative ways to generate income to invest back into core services thanks to a recently completed first phase of ground source heating installations.

Delivered by Kensa Heat Pumps and Northumberland County Council, Prudhoe, Amble, and Seahouses fire stations each had their old electric heaters removed and replaced with ground source heat pumps fed by boreholes drilled in the fire station forecourts.

As a result, each station is receiving 100% of their heat and hot water from the heat pump, reducing energy bills by as much as a third and halving carbon emissions, whilst generating 20 years of income to ensure a return on investment thanks to the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

The heating upgrades are a result of the Council’s commitment to reducing reliance on fossil fuels and reducing carbon emissions throughout the estate.

As commercial premises the projects qualify for the Non-Domestic RHI, which makes the energy efficiency upgrades financially as well as environmentally sustainable.

Councillor Nick Oliver, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, said:

As a council we are determined to do all we can to reduce our carbon footprint while looking at new ways of generating income.

This innovative technology has already proved successful and is something we are looking to expand in the future.

Kensa Heat Pumps documented the key milestones in the fire station projects’ progress via a blog at www.kensaheatpumps.com/NCC.

Further Kensa ground source heating upgrades with Northumberland County Council will feature an adolescent services office and a large council depot including offices and workshops. Feasibility reports are currently underway for several other council buildings including more fire service properties.

Simon Lomax, Managing Director of Kensa Heat Pumps comments on the microgeneration partnership programme:

Northumberland County Council’s pioneering programme will reduce running costs, decrease ongoing maintenance costs and lower the carbon footprint of a wide variety of buildings.  The Council’s costs are being fully recovered via the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive so there is a robust financial justification to underpin the initiative.  We hope other local authorities will follow this example as there are compelling reasons to support an upgrade to ground source heat pumps.

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