On Friday 28th October, staff at HWEnergy confronted a charity challenge that put our skills and resources to the test. The ‘Biomass SOS!’ event saw us donate labour to provide renewable heating to the Lochaber Rural Education Trust (LRET) building adjacent to our Fort William HQ in less than one day. We are delighted to report that the day was a resounding success and heat was flowing into the building by 6pm Friday ready for classes this week!
Set up as a charity in 2001, the LRET learning centre is a unique facility educating groups of school children – many of whom have learning difficulties and additional support needs – in rural skills, environmental studies, gardening and animal husbandry. Other users include nurseries, care homes, day care placements and Women’s Aid as well as members of the public. More than 1,000 visitors take part in activities each year at the centre. However, the centre had no working central heating system until this point and, with the colder months fast approaching, this was an issue for the comfort of pupils, volunteers and staff alike.
Moira Hartley, Trust Manager, Lochaber Rural Education Trust: “We are very proud of our achievements but one issue that had let us down was the lack of heating within our premises. As an interim measure we had been using portable gas heaters which simply didn’t offer adequate heating and were not cost effective.”
“We are extremely grateful to HWEnergy for providing the professional support we desperately needed, allowing us to have a more welcoming cosy building and to be more environmentally friendly.”
Bruno Berardelli, MD of HWEnergy: “We are very pleased that we were able to achieve our goal of getting heating into the LRET building and making it a more comfortable space for them to carry out their valuable work with community groups. We were able to link the building to our own biomass boiler, install the pre-insulated underground pipe, do the interface work and install all the radiators, all in one day!
Many of our suppliers and local companies generously donated materials and services to help the cause, including: Ista Energy Solutions, Rehau, Workwear World, Grundfos, BSS, MacGregor Industrial Supplies, Sondex, Campbell Plant Hire, Oriel Data Processing, Breedon, Keyline, Plumbase, William Wilson, City Electrical Factors, Curtis Insulation, Bowmans and accommodation providers such as Guisachan House and the West End Hotel. Without their generous support we would not have been able to deliver this challenging project.”
Another benefit of the Biomass SOS project is that by supplying heat to the LRET, more income will be generated by our own biomass boiler in the form of Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments from the government. We ring-fence this income for our Community Fund, meaning more money will be available to provide community grants. Since we started our Community Fund in 2012, we have donated more than £20,000 to charities, sports clubs and organisations throughout Scotland.