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£48,000 energy savings identified for Highland Boat hotel

Replacing inefficient oil heating with a new biomass boiler, and installing extra layers of insulation, pointed the way to massive cost savings for The Boat hotel in the Cairngorms. 

A site visit to the 34-bedroom hotel in Boat of Garten revealed a plethora of energy saving opportunities.

Headline savings and activities included:

  • Total identified annual savings of over £48,500;
  • Big paybacks from new heating system and improved insulation;
  • More benefits from switching to LED lighting and using water-saving devices.

When a small, family-run hotel gets in touch wondering how to save money and be greener, our advisors are happy to help. One of our team visited the 34-room Boat hotel, bar and bistro in the Cairngorms to see where efficiencies could be improved in heating, lighting and water. They calculated that total savings of over £48,500 a year could be made across all of these areas.

Installing a biomass boiler promised the most significant saving. This would replace the existing, much more costly (and more carbon emitting) oil-fired boiler. A new boiler burning locally sourced wood chips or pellets would serve all the hotel’s heating and hot water needs while reducing its carbon emissions and saving an estimated £16,500 a year. 

In addition, the hotel could generate an income of £24,000 a year through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, which provides funding support for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of renewable heat generated over 20 years.

This was a tremendous saving on its own, but the advisor identified further savings in the thousands. These would come from installing cavity insulation and increasing loft installation to the recommended thickness (270mm) in the hotel’s annexe building. Fitting solar photovoltaic panels could also reduce electricity costs while generating revenue through the UK Government’s feed-in tariff.

The Boat could further reduce costs, and have much less impact on the environment, by replacing its tungsten filament lamps to LED lighting. And the advisor also spied potential to save water and money by installing a range of water saving devices – manually operated spray nozzles in the kitchen (instead of leaving taps running), cistern volume adjusters in the toilets, aerators on taps and showerheads, and urinal flushing controllers.

Director Jon Erasmus said: "The free advice provided has given us the confidence to go ahead and start making improvements to reduce our costs and improve our green credentials.” 

While they suspected there were savings to be made, and were keen to improve their green credentials, they were overwhelmed by the wealth of information out there. We made it easy for them to see the low energy path ahead, and to begin implementing meaningful changes. 

Zero Waste Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Business Support Service is funded by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund through the £73 million Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme. To find out how our free advice, support and access to funding can help your business save energy and money, call 0808 808 2268 or email: energyefficiency@zerowastescotland.org.uk


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