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PermaCulture: New Investment Scheme Helps Scottish Farm Reduce Carbon & Save Money



An Inverness-shire farm in Scotland has found a finance solution that has helped them begin their journey to reduce their carbon footprint and decrease energy bills.


The working family farm Corrimony, next to the RSPB reserve, has been farmed by the Girvan family since 1941. It was originally heated by old fashioned oil and wood fire heating systems which was inefficient and led to expensive energy bills as oil prices rose. The three cottages and farmhouse are stepping into the present with a centralised wood chip biomass boiler.

David Girvan, who runs the farm wanted to reduce their carbon footprint. Through the help of Highland Wood Energy he was introduced to the Energy Efficiency Financing (EEF) Scheme. The scheme aims to provide businesses with the finance to invest in energy efficient equipment.

The EEF scheme has invested £180,000 in L & M Girvan for the wood chip biomass boiler.

Mr Girvan comments: "The wood chip biomass boiler system supplies heating and domestic hot water to the farm house and cottages and also a neighbouring property and ensures no on-going reliance on expensive oil fired heating, with the seasoned logs sourced from the plentiful wood on the estate. 

"We expect to have annual savings in the region of £36,000 and reduce our carbon emissions by 72 tonnes. We have been really impressed with the results since the boiler's installation back in December last year. We are constantly looking to other energy efficient technologies and later this year we hope to have wind turbines installed." 

Carbon Trust, an organisation of experts who help governments and companies move towards a low carbon economy, assessed Mr Girvan's application, and estimated the energy savings were entirely realistic and would provide a return investment in no more than seven years.

The EEF Scheme is a joint initiative with Siemens Financial Services and the Carbon Trust. It offers businesses finance to invest in green technology such as solar panels, biomass boilers and industrial coolers. The scheme allows clients to pay monthly instalments instead large sums upfront and the monthly payments match the expected energy cost-savings. This means the energy savings offset the monthly equipment finance costs which makes the overall investment zero net cost or even cash positive.

If you would like to know more about the EEF Scheme click here or visit