Climate change fuel bills out next month

29 March 2001
Climate change fuel bills out next month

Hoteliers will next month receive their first fuel bills to include the new climate change levy.

The new tax will add an estimated 15% to the bills of many hotels and restaurants, although some users of environmentally friendly power sources will be exempt.

Among the exempt hotels is the Holiday Inn which opens in Woking, Surrey, on 3 April.

The 161-bedroom hotel, operated by Stannifer Hotels, will be one of the few in Britain to get its primary and back-up power from a combined heat and power station, which reduces greenhouse and ozone-depleting gas emissions. This is one of several types of power generation exempt from the levy.

The hotel, which cost £14m to build, will also benefit from a 10% reduction in its fuel bills because the power is cheaper to produce.

The energy station, a glass-fronted tower next to the hotel, is a joint venture between the council and a Danish energy firm which took £3.2m and four years to develop.

Its natural gas-fuelled engine drives a generator to make electricity which is distributed by private wires to the hotel and other buildings, including the HG Wells Conference and Events Centre, the Big Apple leisure complex and the Quake nightclub.

Heat from the engine is recovered, stored, then pumped round the hotel for hot water and heating, while some hot water is chilled by a heat-fired absorption chiller to run the air-conditioning system, eliminating ozone-depleting refrigerants.

Any extra energy will be sold to other users.

By Angela Frewin

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