A Castletown-based renewable energy company Stroma NX believes it can significantly reduce the Isle of Man’s carbon footprint.
By means of demonstration, Stroma NX engineers assessed Manx Electricity Authority headquarters in Braddan for energy efficiency, and said ‘air tightness’ tests highlighted ‘serious deficiencies’ in the building.
It claimed the resulting action will lead to a 33 per cent energy saving, which would cover the cost of the work carried out inside three years. Stroma NX praised the MEA for putting its headquarters up to such scrutiny, and added that the savings were typical for such previously-untested buildings.
The company said its services, available via the MEA, will help make individual offices and homes more energy efficient, and save people money.
Retired engineer Ken Potter and his wife Carole moved in to a property at Ayre View, Bride, 18 months ago and took part in a trial of Stroma’s services on behalf of the Department of Social Care.
After their new home had been assessed for its energy efficiency, Stroma staff designed and provided a new air-source heat-pump system that was then installed by local company IDPH Ltd.
The Potters say they happy with the outcome so far, saying their new system is ‘cheap, warm and clean’ and gives them all the instant hot water and central heating they need.
‘We really don’t have to do anything,’ said Ken, adding their home is significantly cheaper to run.
‘It’s great that we now have everything on one simple energy bill.’
The partnership with MEA staff means the authority will provide guidance on air tightness, energy auditing, heat pumps, solar thermal and thermal stores, lighting and other solar-powered electricity.
Stroma NX has also drawn attention to the government’s Business Support Scheme (BSS), which offers a grant of up to 50 per cent towards energy assessments and audits of buildings within the commercial sector, up to a maximum £4,500 per project. This includes air-tightness testing, energy audits and thermography assessments, and renewable-energy feasibility studies.
Also available for businesses is the Department of Economic Development’s innovative new ‘zero per cent’ green loan, a scheme which provides funding options for Manx companies to help them increase efficiency and lower energy bills.
If eligible for the scheme, loans of up to 100 per cent towards the cost of projects from £1,000 up to a maximum £20,000 are available from the department, to be paid back over four years.
As payments are calculated to be made from anticipated energy savings, the financing option is designed to pay for itself where possible.
Staffing-wise, the Storma Group said its primary intention was to recruit and train workers from the island, though the first staff member, air tightness test engineer Phil Barber, moved to the island earlier this year.