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Philip Evans


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EAST DEVON:Holiday cottages go greener

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A holiday cottage complex near Ottery St mary has replaced its original biomass and remaining oil boilers with one 60 kW state-of-the-art pellet boiler, dramatically reducing carbon emissions. The owners of Mazzard Farm say the move has reduced bills by 80 per cent and will make thousands each year in government incentives. Mazzard Farm, which recently won the Devon Sustainable Tourism Award, switched a large amount of its heat generation to biomass six years ago. It has now gone a step further, replacing both its original biomass and remaining oil boilers with one 60 kW state-of-the-art pellet boiler. The new system provides all of the heat and hot water for the six holiday cottages and also it heats the owners’ main house and generates a 16 per cent return each year through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The project was funded through ethical investor Triodos bank. Mazzard Farm owner Ruud Jansen Venneboer said: “In a matter of months we’ve gone from being a low-carbon tourism business to almost a zero-carbon tourism business. "And what’s more, it makes absolute business sense. We believe it’s no longer an option to continue using fossil fuels and that the tourism industry should take a lead in raising sustainable energy standards. "The total costs of providing six cottages and our house with heating and hot water using biomass is about the same as we used to spend on oil for our house alone. "The overall saving therefore is more than significant. ” Ruud and fellow owner Jacqueline Parker donated their old biomass boiler to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth when the new had been fitted by SunGift Energy. The system took two weeks to complete, which was important to Ruud and Jacqueline so that their cottages were not out of action for longer than necessary. Ruud added: “When you’re running a businesses that relies on your premises being open to generate revenue, every day that you’re closed affects your income. “SunGift understood this, so their work was planned to minimise disruption so that we could use the cottages again for our customers as soon as possible." Mark Howard from SunGift Energy explained: “The biomass system adds another dimension to Mazzard Farm’s sustainability measures. "And thanks to generous Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments Ruud and Jacqueline will receive an additional annual income of more than £6,500. "This means they’ll have paid for the system in just six years and any additional income will be available to them to spend on more sustainable energy measure if they wish."

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