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Centrica spends £20 million on green boilers

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Centrica has gone shopping this week, putting a 10 percent stake in green boiler company Ceres Power for the princely sum of some £20 million, with a £5 million helping hand to develop its technology.

Ceres Power is an AIM-listed business developing combined heat and power systems (‘CHP units’) based on solid-oxide fuel cell technology. Once successfully developed, these CHP units will operate in the same manner as domestic central heating boilers, but will also deliver cheap, low carbon electricity into the home to reduce the need to buy electricity, whilst significantly reducing households’ carbon footprint.

Centrica reckons by 2010, 30 percent of the UK’s boilers will be sporting the CHP tag.

Sam Laidlaw, Chief Executive of Centrica, said: “Fuel cell technology has the potential to transform the domestic central heating market, enabling our customers to generate cheap, reliable and low-carbon electricity in their own homes. The Agreements with Ceres Power will help us deliver our strategy of investing in low carbon technology development.”

This proposed investment supports Centrica’s ongoing promotion of energy efficiency among its British Gas customer base. Ceres Power currently forecasts that fuel cell boilers could provide energy bill savings for the average household of approximately 25 per cent per year and reduce annual household carbon dioxide emissions by up to 2.5 tonne.

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