Centrica's Sustainable Energy Boost at Pirbright Institute

CentricaImage Source: Centrica


Centrica Business Solutions partners with The Pirbright Institute, implementing a Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHP) to cut net energy usage by over 10% by 2026. The CHP, utilizing natural gas, provides 75% of Pirbright's future power needs, significantly boosting efficiency and reducing reliance on the grid. Pirbright's energy plan, complemented by Centrica's solutions, includes upgrades, building closures, and staff awareness initiatives, aiming for a 12.5% net energy reduction by 2025/2026, saving nearly $700,000 annually. The collaboration aligns with a zero-carbon future commitment by 2040.


Centrica Business Solutions, a pioneer in sustainable energy solutions, has joined forces with The Pirbright Institute to usher in a new era of energy efficiency. The collaboration focuses on implementing cutting-edge technology to drive down net energy consumption, aligning with Pirbright's commitment to achieving a zero-carbon future by 2040, in accordance with UKRI's Environmental Sustainability Strategy.

A key aspect of this partnership is the installation of a state-of-the-art Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHP) by Centrica. This technology, fueled by natural gas, not only generates electricity but also harnesses exhaust gases to produce steam through a heat recovery generator. This dual-purpose approach makes CHP over twice as efficient as traditional power sources, contributing to a significant reduction in the Institute's reliance on the national grid.

The Pirbright Institute, renowned for its dedication to studying infectious diseases in farm animals, has already implemented an energy plan. This plan involves a series of energy-saving initiatives across its Surrey campus, including the closure of energy-inefficient buildings, introduction of efficient lighting, and a staff awareness program focused on responsible energy consumption.

Professor Bryan Charleston, Institute Director, emphasizes the tangible benefits of these efforts, stating, "By the start of 2025/2026, we will have reduced our net energy consumption by 12.5%, saving us nearly $700,000 a year." He highlights the crucial role of staff in driving sustainable practices further, contributing to both environmental preservation and the Institute's financial sustainability.

Greg McKenna, Managing Director of Centrica Business Solutions, expresses delight in collaborating with Pirbright to support its vision for a zero-carbon future. The integrated energy solutions provided by Centrica, coupled with onsite energy generation, play a pivotal role in helping the Institute realize its ambitious goals.

Looking ahead, the partnership plans to explore additional energy efficiencies. A study on potential heat recovery from the CHP and a feasibility study for expanding the use of solar panels on the Pirbright site are on the agenda. Professor Charleston reinforces their commitment to continuous improvement, aligning with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council's (BBSRC) goal of reducing energy use.

Pirbright's financial strategy also aligns with green initiatives, operating within Barclays' Green Deposit Scheme. This ensures that financial deposits are earmarked against green bonds, contributing to climate-related projects such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable practices.


The collaboration between Centrica Business Solutions and The Pirbright Institute stands as a beacon of progress in sustainable energy practices. The successful implementation of the Combined Heat and Power Plant underscores the potential for innovation to drive meaningful reductions in energy consumption, aligning with global efforts to achieve carbon neutrality and foster environmental stewardship.

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