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Eco energy powers rugby club

A community sports centre in Stockport is believed to be among the first in the country to install specialist renewable heating technology in its club house, after it was awarded £70,000 in grants.

Burnage Rugby Football Club, in Heaton Mersey, will have heated changing rooms for the first time after installing an Ecodan PUHZ 14kW air to water monobloc heat pump, and the hot water for showers is now provided by an Ecodan CAHV 43kW air to water monobloc heat pump. Both air source heat pumps will be partly powered by photovoltaic cells from the Low Carbon Energy Company, which have been fitted to the roof. Club member Stuart Hogg explained:

We had an electric hot air system before and it wasn’t very effective. Our bills had reached £15,000 a year, and they were only going in one direction. We looked at the options and although they did require some capital investment, we knew they would prove their worth in the long-term so we applied for grants.

We were looking for a solution that reduced our carbon footprint, but our primary objective was to reduce our bills because we want to make our club as affordable as possible to the 10,000 people who come through the doors each year.

The Ecodan CAHV system, which has been approved by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, uses advanced air source heat pump technology to provide a building’s heating and hot water. As the Ecodan is a factory-sealed unit, installation is straightforward without the need for any refrigeration work on site. Built-in weather compensation enables better control and increases the efficiency to deliver year-round high performance.

Funding for the project comprised £50,000 from the government’s Community Sustainable Energy Programme and £20,000 from the Veolia Environment Trust. The club has also borrowed £20,000 from the Triodos bank, an organisation which lends money to projects which offer positive social, environmental and cultural change.

Specialist installers from Temperature Control Limited spent six weeks at the site, fitting work in around the club’s busy fixture list. Now the venue, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, has indoor facilities to match the rest of its 25-acre site which includes the north west’s only all-weather rugby pitch, two grass rugby pitches and a nine hole golf course.

Burnage RFL, now heated by green energy.

Burnage RFL, now heated by green energy.