Ruth Corrall Vic Allison 10 July 2018

Resourceful partners

Resourceful partners image

The HERU (Home Energy Resources Unit) is a UK innovation that generates hot water for the home from everyday items previously discarded as waste. In simple terms, a household would put a bag of resource (that would otherwise have been disposed of) into the HERU (which is about the size of a washing machine) and it would be heated using heat pipe technology to around 300°C (similar to a conventional oven).

The resource becomes char, releasing tiny amounts of oil and gas, which are both captured. The HERU cleans the oil so it is safe to discharge and it utilises the gas for use in a domestic boiler. A single cycle of the HERU can produce up to 122 litres of hot water a day. Ultimately, it avoids the creation and collection of waste and significantly reduces the amount of carbon generated.

Supported by the European Regional Development Fund and Worcestershire Councils, the Low Carbon Opportunities Programme was established to support low carbon innovation by small to medium enterprises in Worcestershire, as well as installation of renewables.

It was recognised that support for technology development is crucial and support for the low carbon economy is a key element of the local growth strategy. Finding out that the development of the HERU was taking place within the county was therefore great news for the programme.

The HERU is being supported by a grant from the programme to fund the trial phase, and it is hoped that this will help to bring the technology closer to commercialisation.

Grants through the programme have been very well received by local businesses, demonstrating the importance of funding this type of development. Many low carbon innovations such as this, can experience the ‘valley of death’ during their development but public funding can help prevent this and ensure the technology gets to market, a key aim of the programme.

Wychavon District Council has an Intelligently Green Plan which sets out actions which not only result in environmental benefits but also have a community or financial payback too. The council encourages partners and others to follow the same principles and this is why the HERU is something that the council is delighted to support.

Councillor Emma Stokes, Wychavon’s portfolio holder for the environment explains: ‘Wychavon recognises the potential for this technology to revolutionise the management of resources worldwide and bring significant environmental benefits.

‘As this is a local business we are even more excited and had no reservations in offering our Civic Centre as a place where one of the field trials can take place.’

When the results of the field trial are known, they will inevitably throw up new questions, and it will be down to the partnership of commercial minds and public sector thinking to tackle those together.

The HERU clearly has massive potential, and all parties are working together to realise that potential.

Ruth Corrall is project manager at Worcestershire County Council and Vic Allison is deputy managing director at Wychavon District Council

This feature first appeared in Local Government News magazine - sign up here for your free copy.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Project Engineer

Via
Competitive Salary
Via currently has fantastic permanent and fixed-term opportunities to join our Major Projects & Improvements Team as a Project Engineer Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Recuriter: Via

Lead Project Manager

Via
Competitive Salary
Via currently has a fantastic opportunity to join our Major Projects & Improvements Team as a Lead Project Manager Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Recuriter: Via

Highway Improvements Officer

Via
Competitive Salary
Via currently has fantastic opportunity to join our Major Projects and Improvements Team. Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Recuriter: Via

Family Worker (Link Role) - Family Solutions - Harlow

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Family Solutions is an Early Help service in Essex working holistically with disadvantage families, with multiple difficulties to enable them to make England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Park Ranger

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£21.591 - £21.981
This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a dynamic team of staff responsible for the security, cleanliness and general maintenance and... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue