Achievements and Projects
The Energy Management Team are involved in a number of projects to help make Aberdeenshire more energy efficient.
Delivering Excellence at Aboyne Academy
In 2008, Aberdeenshire Council received the Scottish Government Delivering Excellence Award for the sustainable energy biomass boiler project at Aboyne Academy.
The boiler has been extremely successful since it was commissioned in February 2007. It not only contributes to carbon neutrality; but also has helped to establish a market for low value small round wood (thinnings); reduces the environmental impact of two schools, a swimming pool, community centre and a library; reduces dependence on fossil fuels, demonstrates the viability and reliability of wood fuel and biomass boilers respectively and provides an educational resource to benefit communities and businesses.
The achievements of the boiler are numerous, these include:
- Reduction in CO2 emissions of 15600 tonnes over 25 years (620 tonnes per year)
- Financial saving in excess of 20000 per year in boiler operating costs
- An establishment of local demand for 1200 tonnes wood chip and a corresponding reduction in demand for fossil fuels.
Central Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF)
The Central Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF) is a revolving loan fund set up in 2002 by the then Scottish Executive; the scheme has been continued under the Scottish Government. 2 million was allocated to the fund to implement energy efficiency measures that would reduce carbon emissions across the public sector in Scotland. Within CEEF, 15 million was allocated to the 32 local authorities in Scotland, 4 million to the NHS trusts and 1 million to Scottish Water. The scheme has since been extended to provide 4 million to Higher Education.
Each local authority was allocated a proportion of this 15 million based upon a combination of the population in their city/region and their geographical area: with Aberdeenshire Council receiving 634,883. The individual local authorities are responsible for managing their own CEEF allocation and identifying potential capital projects. Funding can only be spent on capital projects; but up to 10% of the fund can be used each year to cover running costs.
To be eligible for CEEF funding, projects must use specific energy saving technologies and must meet a five-year payback criterion. Renewable Energy technologies can also be considered so long as the criteria are met. Technologies eligible for CEEF funding are:
- Building Controls
- Cavity Wall Insulation
- Change of Fuel
- Combined Heat and Power
- Draught Proofing
- Improving Boiler Plant
- Low Energy Lighting
- Motors and Drives
- Pipe, Valve and Flange Insulation
- Point of Use Hot Water
- Pool Covers
- Roof Insulation
Green Tourism Awards
An investigation was carried out into the use of solar panels to reduce the electricity consumption in toilet blocks at caravan parks where the hot water is heated by electric immersion heaters.
The study indicated that it was practical to install solar panels to heat the 50% of the hot water required. The solar panels would reduce carbon emissions and the annual energy costs.
The study also indicated that there was an opportunity to reduce electricity consumption by installing automatic lighting controls to prevent lights being left when not required and overnight.
Solar panel systems were installed at Aden, Banff and Ballater caravan parks in July 2008 to provide hot water to the shower blocks.
Daylight and motion sensor were also installed to reduce electricity consumption from the lights.
The total costs for the installation of the solar panels, lighting controls and the alterations to the hot water systems were 58,000. A grant of 17,000 was obtained through the Low Carbon Building Programme.
The annual energy savings are estimated to be 2,650 (based on an average electricity cost of 10.41p/kWh).
The solar panels and lighting controls will reduce the annual electricity consumption by 26,000kWh and reduce carbon emissions by over 11 Tonnes.
As a result of these installations five Aberdeenshire caravan parks ended 2009 on a high by receiving green awards and becoming the only caravan parks in Aberdeen and the Grampian Highlands to be accredited by the VisitScotland Green Business Scheme. Aden, Banff, Ballater, Haughton and Stonehaven caravan parks joined the scheme in 2006 and began the process of going green.
At the beginning of October 2009 all five caravan parks were inspected and all received an award in recognition of the work they have done to become more environmentally friendly.
Haughton and Stonehaven both received a bronze award and Aden, Banff and Ballater all achieved a silver award.