Herringthorpe infant and junior school was hailed as a green energy trailblazer in 2009 when it chose biomass heating before most other schools in the UK. And still, eight years later, the school is continuing to see the benefits of its biomass boiler after securing £8,000 per year in renewable heat incentive (RHI) payments for the next 20 years.
The payments, which will be diverted straight into much-needed educational resources, have been secured thanks to the work of Gill Alker, a biomass woodfuel consultant who spent six months working with the school, and Rotherham City Council to make it happen.
Claiming RHI payments
“Many schools with biomass boiler aren’t even aware that – after running their heating systems for so many years – they are eligible to claim the RHI payments,” said Gill, who heads up the consultancy team at wood fuel specialists Forest Fuels. “There’s a huge amount still waiting to be claimed and I’m delighted that we’ve helped Herringthorpe school claim what’s rightfully theirs.”
Governors at Herringthorpe school and Rotherham City Council have been aware for some time that they are eligible for the funding for their 150 kW woodchip biomass boiler, but they needed specialist help to undertake the detailed work.
Funding for school equipment, thanks to RHI
“We knew that, regardless of how long we waited, we would still get 20 years of payments. However, we wanted to start receiving this much-needed money as soon as possible, so it it’s great news that we have now started receiving income that we can invest straight back into the school.”
Joanne Draycott, school business manager at Herringthorpe Junior school
The additional money will be invested into projects including a sensory garden at the Yorkshire school.
Meeting Ofgem’s stringent RHI requirements
“Herringthorpe school had kept detailed information from when the boiler was originally commissioned,” added Gill, “so I was able to get straight to work on securing their payments. I know Ofgem’s requirements well and understand exactly where to look get the information I need. Once I had reviewed installer commissioning documents I collated the detailed documentation including the size of the boiler, the heat loss of the pipes and the full system specification.”
To secure payments for the school Gill had to submit all of the information through Ofgem’s online application portal and ensure that it met their stringent rules and regulations.
£2,000 per quarter in RHI payments
Herringthorpe school is now set to receive around £2,000 every quarter, for the next 20 years from OfGem for the renewable heat it generates.