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Biomass to Boat

Bruce Wares, Marketing Manager for Home Energy Scotland describes how they were able advise and support a Boat of Garten hotelier.

The issue of rising energy prices is rarely out of the news these days. Undoubtedly this is an ongoing situation of real concern to many businesses and householders throughout the north of Scotland.

So what can you do to help reduce your organisation’s energy costs? Where do you find out about more efficient heating systems? And who should you speak to about currently available financial support?  

The Scottish Government helped address these vital questions last year when they launched Resource Efficient Scotland, a programme by Zero Waste Scotland to help Scottish businesses cut their energy, water and raw materials costs, as well as manage waste. 

This busy programme also offers free advice, technical support and best practice information, with 33,000 organisations engaged since April 2013. 

At the same time more local businesses and organisations are grasping the nettle by investing in low-carbon technologies like biomass and implementing their lower energy cost future. Wood fuel heating is increasingly seen as an effective solution in the north of Scotland where many areas are off the gas supply grid. Here is how one Highland business has taken advantage:

Case study

Last year The Boat Hotel in Boat of Garten wanted to save money by improving their resource efficiency. Hotel director Jon Erasmus accessed the free, expert advice and support on offer from Resource Efficient Scotland.

Their advisors looked at factors including heating, lighting, loft and wall insulation, installing solar photo voltaic panels, and water use. They recommended the hotel should replace its old oil-fired boiler with an efficient new biomass boiler.

Thanks to a Scottish Government interest-free SME loan to purchase a biomass boiler and advice from Resource Efficient Scotland the hotel is set to annually save £16,650 and 115 tonnes of CO2.

Urging other local businesses to contact Resource Efficient Scotland for free advice and support, Mr Erasmus said:

“The advice has given us the confidence to go ahead and start making improvements to reduce our costs and improve our green credentials. It’s made a huge difference to a small business like us. 

“The Boat is a long-established business, and we need to keep an eye on our resource use to make sure we’re in business for many years to come. We’ve now installed a biomass boiler and we’re now looking at putting in place more of the Resource Efficient Scotland recommendations.

“I would really recommend businesses of all shapes and sizes in the Highlands contact Resource Efficient Scotland to find out how they could make savings.”

Examples of financial support 

  • Green Deal finance, based on a Green Deal Assessment that must be undertaken by an accredited Green Deal Assessor
  • Resource Efficient Scotland SME unsecured interest-free loans from £1000 to £100,000 for the installation of energy, material resource and water efficiency measures
  • Interest-free Low Carbon Transport Loan funded by Transport Scotland to help lower transport and travel carbon footprints
  • The Regional Loan Scheme, including the low-interest Highland Opportunity Fund, supports defined areas or specific sectors and activities 
  • The Scottish Loan Fund aims to help Scottish SMEs secure funding for opportunities that drive growth. It provides loans from £250,000 to £5 million to qualifying businesses on a commercial basis
  • The Community and Renewables Energy Scheme (CARES) provides support, advice and loans to community groups and rural businesses who wish to generate renewable energy or gain benefit from local commercial renewable energy schemes
  • Feed in Tariffs (FITs) and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) give income to encourage investment in renewable electricity projects (FITs) and renewable heat (RHI) 
  • The District Heating Loan Scheme provides loans for low carbon and renewable technologies to help organisations implement district heating projects to benefit local communities.


More information

Visit resourceefficientscotland.com or call an advisor on 0808 808 2268, 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.


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