Headlines: February 4th, 2004

An extra six million pounds has been allocated to new energy-efficient schemes to heat homes, schools and other public buildings. The money is in addition to 22 million pounds already given to projects under the government’s Community Energy programme.The money will go to eight projects delivering community heating, helping to reduce energy bills and combat both greenhouse gases and fuel poverty. Together the schemes will cost more than 32 million pounds but they will reduce carbon emissions by almost 4,000 tonnes a year.

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council gets half a million pounds towards the cost of heating flats and a primary school in one of England’s most deprived wards. Midlothian Council, whose scheme will involve the first extraction of mine water heat on a large scale in Scotland, is awarded 560,000 pounds. It will help meet the cost of the installation of a network serving 500 new-build homes, a primary school and an office block. The heat pump will be fed from the Monktonhall Colliery mine water renewable energy source.

The Family Housing Association will get 35,000 pounds for the installation of a heat network connecting 14 homes for the elderly and disabled in South Wales, using a biomass boiler fed by wood pellets, and almost 14,000 pounds goes to Buckinghamshire County Council to heat its Environmental Education Centre using saw mill waste.

The biggest grants go to Edinburgh and Aberdeen universities. Edinburgh will get more than two and a half million pounds for the refurbishment of a steam based heat network, to connect 19 teaching and research buildings on the campus. Aberdeen University will use its one and three quarters of a million pounds to install a system for three halls of residence with almost 400 students, and 28 academic buildings. Another big beneficiary in Scotland is Clydebank Housing Association, which gets more than seven hundred thousand pounds to heat 400 homes, a primary school and a hall.

The Community Energy scheme is managed on behalf of DEFRA by the Energy Saving Trust and the Carbon Trust, assisted by the Combined Heat and Power Association.