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Former energy minister backs heat pump firm

A former UK energy minister is part of a group of entrepreneurs establishing an energy services company (Esco) to fund the installation and operation of ground source heat pump (GSHP) systems across Europe.

Rt Hon Brian Wilson, energy minister from 2001 to 2003, is on the board of Greenrock Energy which is looking to raise £10 million worth of equity from investors.

Greenrock will manage the Esco and look to exploit the potential of using ground source technology to heat and cool buildings.

The company believes the market for GSHP is being supported by several key issues - uncertainty over gas supplies, expected increases in fossil fuel prices, tougher carbon emission controls and growing demand for cooling as well as heating in new buildings.

In the UK the take up of GSHP has been hampered by the perception of high up front costs, but Greenrock will look to address this by paying for installation, handling the often complex design and infrastructure issues and then charging building owners or occupiers for energy used.

This will turn the capital cost of a GSHP installation into a revenue cost that relates to energy supplied, produce overall savings for users, cut carbon emissions and help to comply with increasingly demanding carbon dioxide targets.

The board is made up of chairman Cameron McColl, chief executive Calum Innes, chief operating officer John Flavell Smith, finance director, Ken Brown and Mr Wilson.

A company spokesman said: “The construction industry is braced for new economic and environmental sustainability rules imposed by government and building occupiers in both public and private sectors are demanding buildings which incorporate alternative energy solutions.

'Greenrock’s proposition is timely, relevant and backed by individuals with a proven track record.”