PRESS RELEASE: – The Hilton Hotel Group appoints LC Energy to supply sustainable woodchip fuel
The Hilton Hotel Group has appointed LC Energy, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of low carbon energy services and wood fuel, on a three year agreement to supply Hilton Garden Inn in Luton with 500 tonnes per annum of sustainable¹ wood chip for its wood fuel heating boiler which formed a key part of the facility in Luton.
Hilton Garden Inn, one of the fastest growing brands in the Hilton Family of Hotels, was opened in 2008. It is the first hotel of its kind in the UK in the mid market hotel sector and is part of a planned expansion of 20 HGI hotels across the UK. The wood chip being supplied could save approximately 370 tonnes² of carbon per year (when compared to burning fossil fuels) which is the equivalent output of 75 family homes.
The wood for the boiler will be sourced from sustainably managed woodlands in Hertfordshire and Essex and once it has been harvested the wood is chipped and stored at LC Energy’s hub situated less than 20 miles from the boiler, which significantly reduces the environmental impact of transporting the chip long distances to the boiler. Allan Cousins, Hilton Hotel’s Facility Manager, said: “LC Energy has clearly demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of the expanding low carbon energy sector and has put forward a cost effective solution to enable the Hilton to utilise this natural heat resource from the local area.”
Mark Lebus, Managing Director of LC Energy said, “This is a highly significant contract for LC Energy as it demonstrates that woodchip fuel boilers are a genuinely viable alternative energy source for organisations wishing to not only reduce their carbon footprint, but also lessen their reliance on ever-decreasing fossil fuels.” He continued, “It is essential that the wood fuel is sourced from the immediate area as it capitalises on local wood to provide local heat, and enables a significant reduction in transport emissions.”
According to the Forestry Commission it is estimated that if harvested responsibly, there could be a sustainable supply of wood chip from woodlands in the immediate vicinity of the hotel sufficient to supply the wood chip boiler. Dr Mike Render, Regional Development Advisor for the Forestry Commission, welcomes the decision by BAA to utilise wood to provide heat for the airport and said “The Forestry Commission would wish to encourage a greater use of wood for fuel heat production and in the East of England Region we have a target to supply a sustainable additional 110,000 tonnes per year by 2013.
Now in its fourth year of trading, LC Energy supplies wood fuel to an airport, schools, care homes, housing developments and private estates in the South and East of England.
¹ Biomass takes carbon out of the atmosphere while it is growing, and returns it as it is burned. If it is managed on a sustainable basis, biomass is harvested as part of a constantly replenished crop. This is either during woodland or arboricultural management or coppicing or as part of a continuous programme of replanting with the new growth taking up CO2 from the atmosphere at the same time as it is released by combustion of the previous harvest. This maintains a closed carbon cycle with no net increase in atmospheric CO2 levels.
² The figure of 370 tonnes of CO2 being saved is based on the hotel’s estimated Mega Watt Hour (MWh) power usage. It is estimated to consume 2,000 MWh per year. Natural gas has a CO2 emission of 185kg per MWh. Hence 185 x 2,000 = 370,000kg or 370 tonnes per year. Therefore by using a heat fuel which is carbon neutral, Hilton Hotel is saving 370 tonnes of CO2 per year.