The initiative involves CFCL working with funders, most likely an energy services company (ESCO), who will fully finance the installation of the BlueGEN unit. The ESCO will then recoup the CAPEX via the UK’s feed-in tariffs.
CFCL estimates that on average the funder’s payback period will be in the region of seven years.
The major benefit of the scheme is that the end user only pays for the running costs, and with a guarantee of at least a 10% discount on the cheapest local standard retail tariff lower energy bills.
According to government estimates, there are 3.5m households in the UK currently living in fuel poverty. Although that figure is set to drop to 2.5m under a new definition to be introduced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change next month.
The company’s initial target markets are the social housing sector, where fuel poverty is a major issue, as well as schools and small-to-medium sized enterprises, such as shops, restaurants and pubs, care homes, health centres and dental surgeries.
Currently, CFCL has 50 BlueGEN units installed in the UK, with more than 200 worldwide (Germany is its biggest market with 100 installed units to-date).
Paddy Thompson, CFCL’s general manager of Business Development, confirmed that that company also has approximately 400 units on back order.
BlueGEN has solid oxide fuel cell technology at its core (pictured), and under normal operation it has a continuous electrical output of 1.5 kWel and a thermal output of 0.6 kWth, generating up to 13,000 kWh of electricity a year.
BlueGEN was launched in 2010 and is recognised as one of the world’s most efficient small-scale generators – up to 60% delivered electrical efficiency, with a total efficiency of 85%.
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