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Renewable Heat Technologies

This page provides information regarding renewable heat technologies which could be used in schools.

Index of information on this page


How Will We Heat our Schools by 2020?

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

To meet our 2020 15% renewable energy target, we need to develop new ways of generating renewable energy in all sectors, including heat.  Heat generated from renewable sources accounts for approximately 1% of total heat demand – this may need to rise to 12% to hit our binding EU targets.

We will not be able to expand renewable heat without some form of financial assistance because other forms of heat are currently cheaper.  Such support will enable more people to afford renewable heat and, by expanding the market, help bring costs down more quickly.

Common examples of renewable heat technologies include: air and ground-source heat pumps, biomass boilers, solar-thermal water heaters and combined heat and power (CHP) plants which use renewable fuels. 


Schools with Renewable Energy

Below are examples of how schools in Northumberland are using renewable energy successfully. If your school has introduced renewables and you wish to write a case study, please contact and she will publish it on this website.

Find out how the governing body of a small rural First School has enabled the building to build a ground breaking energy efficient extension to improve their teaching facilities.  (details to follow in due course).


Ground Source Heat

Schools including new build PLF schools in Blyth and Beaufront First School have used this technology to reduce energy bills.

All three new build schools in Blyth now include heating using this technology. The systems have just been commissioned and results of energy savings will be available over the coming months. 

Educational BenefitsBlyth Newsham Primary School - Ground Source Heat Pump Reader

Each school has a display meter in their entrance area so the pupils and parents can see how much Carbon Dioxide is saved.


How Ground Source Heat Pumps Work

Please click here for further information about how ground source heat pumps work


Renewable Heat Incentive Payments

Ground source heat will attract the Department of energy and climate change renewable heat incentives.


Air Source Heat

This form of heating is suitable for many schools particularly where Gas is not an option. Many of the new Sure Start centres including Hexham East and Alnwick use this technology. Energy bills received indicate the technology is economic to operate.


How Air Source Heat Works

Please click here for advice from the Energy Saving Trust explaining how the technology works.

Ground source heat will attract the Department of energy and climate change renewable heat incentives.


Biomass Boilers

A number of schools are currently carrying out feasibilities to introduce this technology, others already have systems including those at Delaval First School, Kielder First School and Ponteland First school.

Biomass boilers not only reduce your Carbon Dioxide emissions but are also cheap to operate and, from April 2011, will attract the Department of Energy and Climate Changes new Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) paybacks.


Solar Water Heating

Schools with Solar water heating include Hareside Primary in Cramlington and Beaufront First School. This technology will also attract the Department of Energy and Climate changes renewable heat incentive.