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Woodchip boilers for Hertfordshire after grant given

New woodchip boilers will be installed in Herefordshire, UK, after a local company won a £60,000 (€72,000) government funding grant to develop sustainable schemes.

Woolhope Woodheat will be in charge of the project which will see the boilers installed in schools, organisations and businesses around the area.

The clean burning woodchip boilers should help to reduce heating bills and reduce fuel costs by about 20% during the life of the boiler.

To raise more money for the development, a community share offer will be set up which will help those organisations that have heating bills of more than £5,00 a year, to buy and install the biomass boilers.

The cooperative was formed by the Fownhope Carbon Reduction Action Group, which was set up to urge the community to do its part in reducing its carbon footprint.

The local community has already promised to put in £30,000 towards the project, adding to the government funding.

The Local Energy Assessment Fund also gave some of its £10 million funds to the project. This fund was set up by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to help kick start renewable energy projects, and Woolhope Woodheat is one of 82 projects around the country to be awarded funds.

Sharenergy, a non profit organisation aiding communities to find, build and own renewable energy solutions, says the entire project is worth around £500,000.

Ben Dodd, development manager at the Woolhope Woodheat, says: ‘In the longer term it [the project] will create employment and bring back into management a number of woodlands, which in turn will help increase biodiversity in the area. We also believe it will be one of the first cooperatives of its kind in the UK to utilise woodchip boilers in this way.’