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Business Green: Green Investment Bank makes £5m biomass commitment



Injection into private fund mobilises a further £5m for project replacing inefficient heating systems with biomass boilers

A Green Investment Bank-backed fund has injected £10m into a project to replace inefficient heating systems with biomass boilers.

The Green Investment Bank (GIB) announced late last week that it has committed £4.9m to an Equitix managed fund, called Energy Saving Investments (ESI), that was set up to manage small-scale non-domestic energy efficiency projects.

The deal will mobilise a further £5.1m of investment from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF), with the investment being managed by Roundwood Energy, which is administering the project.

Both public and private sector organisations can apply for funding to support the switch from conventional to biomass boilers, which according to the GIB can help properties save up to 30 per cent on their energy bills.

The boilers will be fuelled by sustainably sourced wood pellets and could save around 150,000 tonnes of CO2 over the 20-year lifetime of the investment.

Shaun Kingsbury, chief executive of the GIB, hailed the new funding as a major boost for businesses and public-sector bodies interested in switching to renewable heat technologies.

"[This] announcement will provide a low-cost and straightforward way for a range of organisations like schools, leisure centres and local businesses to switch their old, inefficient and high emission boilers for new energy efficient biomass ones; saving energy, cutting emissions and saving them money," he said in a statement.

Non-domestic energy efficiency has been one of the £3bn GIB's priority areas for investment since it was established in November last year. The latest investment follows the £18m the bank put towards biomass schemes at two Cambridge hospitals in March.