Robertson FM: Operator training and technical advice

re:heat has been supporting Robertson FM for a number of years, in a number of different ways.  The team at Robertson FM were early pioneers in the biomass sector, being responsible for the management of the energy services for a number of properties in their portfolio.  Biomass boilers form an important part of the low carbon agenda for Robertson FM, and making sure their boiler technicians have the right training, are competent and aware of best practice is essential to the Robertson management team.  re:heat has completed a number of packages of work for RFM to ensure they are up to date and have the training and skills they need.

During winter 2014-15, the re:heat team carried out a full evaluation of the skills and competencies of those in charge of operating biomass boilers in 9 different schools across Newcastle.  The re:heat team interviewed each member of RFM staff who worked with the biomass systems, watched them undertake their routine tasks and noted how their boilers were being used in practice.  With stringent carbon saving targets to hit, it’s important that the biomass boilers are operated as efficiently and as consistently as possible – only a small amount of gas is allowed to be used in a year.

Operator training emerged as a key consideration in increasing the use of biomass in the schools.

Training for biomass operators

After we completed the skills and competency review, we then set about writing a bespoke set of training courses.  These were designed to address the areas where skills updates were needed, and we also flew in specialist engineers from the original boiler manufacturers to provide the latest training on the day-to-day operation and safe running of the boilers.

re:heat has also been commissioned by RFM to look into problem biomass boilers where issues have developed over time, and also to deal with specific biomass integration issues into existing buildings.