Baxi’s UK boiler manufacturing site in Bamber Bridge, near Preston, Lancashire, was the scene of celebration when the Queen’s representative, the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, presented the company with the prestigious Queen’s Award.
Baxi played host to the Rt Hon the Lord Shuttleworth, the Mayor and Mayoress of South Ribble, the Mayor and Mayoress of Preston, guests and employees at the ceremony to recognise the innovation of Baxi Ecogen, the first commercially available wall hung micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP) dual energy system.
In his welcoming address, Andrew Keating, Managing Director Baxi Residential Boilers Division, Baxi Heating UK, explained that as soon as they heard the company had received the award, plans were put in motion to hold the ceremony at the Preston site.
“Richard Baxendale established the business close to this site in 1866 and nearly 150 years later we are still going strong,” he said. “We were at the forefront of the heating industry at the very beginning and we still are as we enter the next phase of lower carbon and energy home heating solutions.”
Following a tour of the micro-CHP manufacturing facilities and the research and development department where it was conceived and developed, Lord Shuttleworth expressed his pleasure at being able to present the award. Addressing the audience of employees who had all played a part in the success of Baxi Ecogen, he said: “It is with great pleasure that, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, I am presenting this award.
“It is one of only 50 in the Innovation category that have been awarded this year. The award is not given lightly. Only the highest level of innovation is recognised and it is clear that you have all achieved this.” Lord Shuttleworth also stressed that the award is presented to the business rather than to an individual, and he congratulated everyone for playing their part in its success.
Chris Tyrer, Manufacturing Director at the site, thanked Lord Shuttleworth. “He responded, addressing the assembled workforce: “The presentation of the Queen’s Award is testament to the determination and dedication of everyone who has been involved with the Baxi Ecogen project, from its conception in 2006,and development right through to its production and subsequent industry leading position in the marketplace.”
CHP stands for ‘combined heat and power’. This means the Baxi Ecogen is a dual energy system, so at the same time as providing efficient gas central heating and hot water like any other boiler, it also generates up to 1kWh of low cost, low carbon electricity using a Free Piston Stirling Engine.
It is the first micro-CHP product to achieve Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certification, meaning it is also eligible for the Government’s Feed-in Tariff – providing financial assistance to lower fuel bills even further.