Local authorities could save significant money by installing biomass boilers to heat buildings using woodfuel, in the face of a new mandatory emissions reduction scheme which will impose financial penalties on local Councils for excessive carbon emissions.
The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) comes into force in April 2010, and aims to reduce carbon emissions in large non-energy intensive organisations such as local authorities by 1.2 million tonnes of carbon per year by 2020, with an initial price per tonne of £12 to be charged.
It is estimated that an authority the size of Liverpool City Council could have to pay £50,000 for the heating of its primary schools alone if they remain heated by fossil fuels.
Organisations will be ranked in a publicly viewable league table with the prospect of either financial loss or gain, dependent upon their emissions reduction performance.
With transport emissions excluded from the scheme, heating will be one of the main factors affecting how local authorities will perform. One of the best ways to reduce this area of Councils' emissions is to switch to biomass boilers which create heat by using replenishable wood as fuel.
This path is already being followed by several schools in the Forest area as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme, with the schools installing biomass boilers to reduce their carbon footprint for heating to virtually nil.
To read more about the Carbon Reduction Commitment, see the Department for Energy & Climate Change's introduction to the CRC.
To talk to The Mersey Forest about biomass heating, contact Nigel Blandford on 01925 816217 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.