Biomass burns bright at Croft Castle

Posted in: Energy

Posted on: 12.09.2014

This weekend sees the exciting launch of a new biomass boiler at Croft Castle in Herefordshire, marking another great stage in Good Energy’s partnership with the National Trust.

This project is the second of five schemes to go live in a £3.5m pilot phase of the charity’s Renewable Energy Investment Programme, which we launched together last year.  If successful, the National Trust plans to invest in 43 similar renewables schemes across the country.

A renewable heat source

Ed Wood, who is the National Trust’s Environmental Practices Advisor for the Midlands, thinks this is fantastic news for Croft Castle, as they’ll no longer need to buy 20,000 litres of oil a year to keep the old boilers running. This means more money to look after the castle, grounds and ancient woodland, making it a much more enjoyable visitor experience.

The 199kW biomass boiler will provide heat to the castle, shop and offices, using wood grown at the estate, saving 52 tonnes of CO2 a year and providing a big contribution to the National Trust’s target of halving its fossil fuel consumption by 2020.

Put simply, biomass boilers are heating systems that run off the burning of plant based materials instead of traditional fossil fuels. Growing plants and trees for fuel recaptures the carbon dioxide released through the combustion process making biomass much better for the environment compared to oil or gas alternatives. 

How to use similar biomass techniques in your own home

The great thing about biomass is that there are also loads of options for people to use similar techniques on a smaller scale in their own home. According to Ed, both pellet boilers and log burners, which are used to heat the offices at Croft Castle, provide the same comfort of an open fire. Plus, according to the Energy Saving Trust, log burners are more energy efficient, and could even save you up to £80 a year compared to traditional gas heating systems!

What next?

As previous National Trust renewable projects have shown, the introduction of biomass at Croft Castle proves just how pioneering British renewable technology can be towards transforming the energy use of some our oldest buildings and special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It has been fantastic working with the National Trust again and we’re looking forward to telling you more about the other exciting projects and further ways you can use renewable technologies in your own special place.  

Learn more about living green

As part of the National Trust’s Green Living Days being held between 13-28 September, you can visit Croft Castle this Saturday for free (13th September), and discover the biomass boiler for yourself. You can also find out more about some of the estate’s other innovative energy schemes too.

Croft Castle is one of sixteen National Trust properties hosting special green living themed events, an initiative supported by Good Energy and the Centre for Sustainable Energy, which you can find more information about here. 

With thanks to Ed Wood at the National Trust for the information provided.

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