Lookers opened their first ever Audi Approved Used Showroom in Hamilton last month and the new state-of-the-art premises does more than just sell cars. Thanks to Belfast based engineering company BS Holdings, Hamilton Audi is the first Lookers dealership in Scotland to have installed a biomass heating & cooling system. Along with the environmentally friendly heating system they have also taken other measures to become as eco-friendly as possible.
Lookers relationship with BS Holdings who are innovators in biomass systems, began in 2013 when a biomass system was trialled in the Charles Hurst Ferrari/Maserati dealership in Belfast. The trail proved such a success that the heating and cooling system was then installed in another 11 Lookers dealerships with a further four additional systems set to be installed in the coming months.
Lookers Group Maintenance Manager Bill Henry who has oversaw the installation of the biomass systems, spoke about the impact these energy systems will have on the business: The Biomass plant provides heat as do most systems available but what makes the system we are installing more attractive is it will also provide cooling. While working closely with Brian from BSH I asked the question, could the system also provide cooling? Brian researched and developed a system which would do just that, this was first trialled in Charles Hurst Ferrari Belfast and proved to be a success. An average system gives Carbon reductions of 400 tonne; additional to this we receive a Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for a 20yr period. The RHI receivable in respect of 15 biomass installations are estimated at circa £7 million over the next 20 years in comparison traditional Oil, Gas and Electric systems would be a cost to the company. Audi Hamilton proved to be an ideal site for the Heat & Cooling solution and will now receive the benefits.
The biomass system at Hamilton Audi and the wood pellets used for the heating and cooling
Biomass is material that comes from living organisms, which can be either animal or vegetable. The biomass heating system works in the same way as a traditional boiler, except that wood pellets are used instead of gas. These wood pellets are fed into the system and burn 24 hours a day generating heating. The biomass can also be used to provide air conditioning through the same process as the heating.
The biomass system will reduce fuel costs dramatically as well as reducing carbon footprints by using renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels. For every tree cut down to produce the wood pellets for the Biomass systems, a further two are planted in its place.
Environmental responsibility was at the core of Audi Hamilton’s strategy and that’s why they took extra measures to reduce their carbon footprint when renovating the premises. Along with the biomass system they have also installed a water purification system that recycles 95% of the water used for cleaning vehicles. The water used for cleaning goes down a drain then into a bio degradable tank that is filled with bugs who eat the bacteria making the water clean and safe to use again. A portion of the lighting at the premises is LED and motioned censored which will again save costs and reduce energy consumption.
The efficient water purification system at Hamilton Audi
Looking towards the future Lookers want to increase their energy management programmes and already have plans in place to further reduce their carbon footprint. Bill Henry said of Lookers long term eco-strategy: Lookers energy management programme is ongoing and developing regularly as technology improves, we are to date saving £627,000 P/A, a reduction of 35,000 tonne of carbon. Our next major investment in energy additional to our commitment to Energy reduction projects and Biomass is the installation of Solar PV as announced recently by Andy Bruce. Five PV systems have been approved and no doubt more will follow.
By Jenna Niblock