A 15th Century village pub is one of 15 properties to find a locally-grown source of heating and hot water – thanks to Norfolk County Council and Woodfuel East.
The council set up a £50,000 grant fund to help Norfolk home and business owners install woodfuel boilers, as part of its carbon reduction programme. The scheme was administered by Woodfuel East, through the Forestry Commission, and 15 grants have now been made - including one to the Mermaid Inn, in Elsing, near Dereham.
Kevin Wills, landlord of the Mermaid Inn, said: “We decided that a woodfuel heating system could meet our aims of saving money, substantially reducing our carbon footprint, maintaining traditional ambience and using local resources. Without the grant from Norfolk County Council and Woodfuel East’s help, we wouldn’t have been able to install this new heating system.
“The woodfuel boiler fits really well into the traditional surroundings and our customers have commented on how the pub feels warm and welcoming.”
Sid Cooper, Woodfuel East’s Norfolk Business Development Advisor, said that modern, woodfuel boilers were a carbon-lean source of heating and hot water – especially in areas without mains gas. He said: “The woodfuel boilers which have been part-funded by this county council grant will generate a total of 450 kilowatts and cut the county’s oil consumption by more than 35,000 litres a year. This will save more than 100 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.”