The owners of a sustainable tourism
business in East Devon have moved to slash their carbon emissions and
save money by investing in a new .
Mazzard Farm, a collection of self-catering holiday
cottages near Ottery St Mary, was one of the first businesses in the
South West to switch a large amount of its heat generation oil to
Now six years on it has gone a step further, replacing both
its original biomass and remaining oil boilers with one 60kW
state-of-the-art pellet boiler.
The new system fitted by Exeter-based SunGift Energy not
only provides all of the heat and hot water for the six holiday
cottages, but also heats the owners’ house and generates a 16 per cent
return on investment each year, thanks to payments from the Government’s
Renewable Heat Incentive.
The £40,000 project has been funded by ethical investor
Triodos Bank and is expected to deliver a total profit of £92,000 over
the next 20 years. The new boiler will save 21.6 tonnes of carbon
emissions per year.
Mazzard Farm owner Ruud Jansen Venneboer said: “In a matter
of months we’ve gone from being a low-carbon tourism business to almost
a zero-carbon tourism business, and what’s more, it makes absolute
“We believe it’s no longer an option to continue using
fossil fuels and that the tourism industry should take a lead in raising
sustainable energy standards. The total costs of providing six cottages
and our house with heating and hot water using biomass is about the
same as we used to spend on oil for our house alone. The overall saving
therefore is more than significant.”
Ruud and his wife Jacqueline decided on the system after
SunGift carried out a comprehensive site survey and designed a bespoke
system to meet their requirements.
The new boiler – a Windhager BioWIN EXCEL – is fuelled by
wood pellets and includes an 800-litre buffer tank. The system took two
weeks to install and provides 100 per cent of Mazzard Farm’s space
heating and hot water requirements. The couple donated their old biomass
boiler to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth.
“When you’re running a businesses that relies on your
premises being open to generate revenue, every day that you’re closed
affects your income,” added Ruud.
Triodos lends money only to businesses that ‘bring lasting
positive change’ so that the funding can help make a lasting impact on
people and the environment. The bank recognises Mazzard Farm as a
sustainable environmental businesses that helps safeguard the
Mark Howard, from SunGift Energy, said: “The biomass system
adds another dimension to Mazzard Farm’s sustainability measures and
thanks to generous Renewable Heat Incentive payments Ruud and Jacqueline
will receive an additional annual income of more than £6,500. This
means they’ll have paid for the system in just six years and any
additional income will be available to them to spend on more sustainable
energy measure if they wish.
“We’re increasingly being approached by businesses in the
South West that want to lower their carbon footprint but until recently
hadn’t realised that switching to renewable energy – be that biomass,
solar, or heat pumps – could save them money and generate additional
income. Once they appreciate the financial benefits businesses are
often very quick to get the ball rolling.”
Formed in 2005 by owner Gabriel Wondrausch, the SunGift Energy employs 30 people.