NorseCare has successfully accessed Government funding to introduce environmentally friendly bio mass boilers powered by wood pellets at three of its residential care homes.

The move will save an estimated 15,000 tonnes of carbon over 30 years and given the cost of oil, reduce annual heating costs.

The newly installed boilers are at Sydney House in Stalham, Rose Meadow in North Walsham and St Nicholas House, Dereham. They not only use a renewable energy source, but also help climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Norse Group of companies – Norse Commercial Services, NPS Group and NorseCare – has made a commitment at board level to reduce energy consumption by five per cent by 2019.

In a separate initiative, Sydney House has won a cash prize for its amenity fund to benefit residents and staff alike for their consistent efforts over a year in helping cut their home’s electricity consumption.

NorseCare homes were encouraged to take part in a collective effort to reduce electricity consumption by turning off unnecessary lighting and unplugging electrical devices when not in use in an initiative led by Matt Clarke, Project Officer at Norsecare.

Sydney House showed savings throughout the year with results shared with staff each month as the programme progressed.

Karen Knight, Managing Director of NorseCare, said:

“These green initiatives together are helping us to become more environmentally friendly and generally kinder to the planet.

We can certainly save energy by investing in infrastructure, but every little thing helps and everyone at Sydney House has made a fantastic team effort. I am sure they will put their prize to very good use.”

The focus on the energy saving initiative at Sydney House was staff switching off lighting in areas such as staff rooms, sluice room and toilets – when not in use. Energy saving was also an item on the agenda for all staff meetings.

Sydney House’s Business Administrator, Sheila Ford, said:

“If I witnessed lights being left on, I’d simply ask the member of staff ‘would you do that at home?’ This really helped embed the energy saving culture across the team.”

Unwatched communal TV’s were routinely switched off (at the wall) in lounges and energy saving checklist and stickers were displayed throughout the home in non-resident rooms. Computers/printers within offices and care bases were also switched off at the end of the day and during the year the home’s electricity bill fell by £1700.

Residents and staff are now considering how to spend their £1000 prize money, but it’s likely to be on new facilities outside to encourage more outdoor activities during nice weather.

Tracy Saunders the Care Home manager said:

“We hope the money can be used to encourage residents to engage in other social activities and spend more time outside, hopefully leading to a further reduction in electricity use.”

*Pictured are Sheila Ford, left, and Sharon Sandford.