Renewable energy heating systems will be installed at two Northumberland schools and a fire station at a cost of around £660,000.
But through reduced energy costs and government subsidies, the ground source heat pump (GSHP) schemes at Cambois Primary School, Seahouses Primary School and Rothbury Fire Station are expected to provide an overall saving.
Northumberland County Council’s cabinet approved £326,133 for Seahouses, £236,049 for Cambois and £98,547 at Rothbury at its meeting last Tuesday.
In the case of the two schools, some of the funding – £57,150 for Seahouses and £40,021 for Cambois – will come from the Schools Capital Improvement Programme, which is funded by grants from the Department for Education.
More than £76,000 for Rothbury Fire Station was previously approved by the cabinet in October, but the previous contractor went into administration.
The new cost is higher because the wet system on site is also going to be replaced as part of the upgrade.
GSHP is a technology that works by using the ground’s natural heat to warm water, which can then be used to heat a building.
It can replace existing heating systems, increase the general temperature level to comfortable conditions and improve the energy efficiency of the building.
GSHPs attract Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), a government programme to increase the uptake of the technology by businesses, the public sector and non-profit organisations.
Eligible installations receive quarterly payments over 20 years based on the amount of heat generated.
Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service