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Tuffa Footwear

Tuffa Footwear, Norfolk, are saving 1.4 tonnes of CO2 each year with a solar PV system, as well as an 89% reduction on CO2 with the biomass boiler

The Background
Established in 1997, family-run firm Tuffa Footwear Ltd services the equestrian community with footwear uniquely designed for durability and comfort. The business operates from a 4,800 sq ft warehouse in mid-Norfolk, and as with many businesses, its main operating hours are during peak rate electricity hours.

In addition, heating a large warehouse space with oil-fired heating was neither efficient nor environmentally friendly. The challenge was to reduce energy costs whilst maintaining the temperatures required within the workspace.

The natural solution was to install both Solar PV and Biomass heating.

The Installation
Abel Energy designed a solution incorporating both solar photovoltaic (PV) and biomass heating, installing a 3.92kW roof-mounted solar array and a 100kW Froling pellet boiler with a 7.5 tonne fuel store and a 3000l Akverterm buffer tank.

As the solar PV system will generate electricity during the warehouse’s daylight operating hours, the technology perfectly suits the energy demands of Tuffa Footwear. Together with the electrical savings, the installation is also eligible for the Government’s Feed in Tariff (FIT), paid for each kWh of electricity generated. 

Meanwhile, the 100kW pellet boiler heats both the office space and warehouse to a temperature of 15°C using two air emitters. The boiler is fed pellets from a 7.5 tonne fuel store. The system is eligible for the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which is a Government financial incentive to increase the uptake in generation of renewable heat. 

Both the solar PV FIT and the biomass RHI are guaranteed for 20 years by OFGEM.

The Results
The solar PV system is providing a financial benefit of £717 pa, which represents a 14.35% return on investment; the biomass boiler is providing a financial benefit of £9,420 pa, which is a 16% return on investment.

In addition, the solar PV system is saving 1.4 tonnes of CO2 each year, whilst the biomass boiler is saving a massive 89% CO2 usage compared with the previous oil-fired system.

For an overall investment of £64,000, the total annual financial benefit will be more than £10,000 pa, giving a return on investment of 15.6% - a substantial saving for a company looking to reduce overheads and improve their green credentials at the same time.

Michelle Girling, managing director of Tuffa Footwear Ltd, says:
“As a business we were keen to lower our electricity consumption and move away from oil fired heating to reduce our Carbon footprint, the RHI and FIT allowed us to do this.”

The Numbers

The Numbers

(Yearly heat requirement 100,000 kWh pa)

RHI income: £7,600
Pay Back: 5 years
CO2 savings: 89%

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