Harnessing the power of water can be traced back to 200 BC. Hydropower has not only shaped our industrial past it also has a key role to play in building a greener future.
Listen to our podcast and meet the innovators of days gone by whose ingenuity is still helping us reduce our carbon footprint by making the places in our care more sustainable. We've also got lots of tips you can try at home to save water and live a more sustainable lifestyle.
We aim to produce 50 per cent of the energy we use from renewable sources by 2021, and hydropower is helping us to achieve this.
- Hydropower already generates a total of 299,382 kilowatt hours for 10 of the places in our care.
- A further 10 National Trust places sell the energy generated by their hydropower systems to the National Grid, bringing the total up to 4,132,823 kilowatt hours of energy produced.
- The money raised helps us continue vital conservation work and look after these special landscapes for future generations.
The podcast was made possible thanks to the support of BMW i, the brand behind the state-of-the-art BMW i3. As our partner, BMW i is not only allowing us to expand our network of electric vehicle charging points it is also helping us achieve our renewable energy ambitions by investing in groundbreaking projects at National Trust places.
Episode 1: Britain's first smart home
A large-scale hydropower project is still out of reach for most of us, so we've come up with some other ways that you can channel the power of water.
Save water with what you wear
It can take nearly 3,000 litres of waters to make just one T-shirt sold on the High Street. You could save water by buying less or buying second hand.
Flushed with success
Toilets made before 2001 use up to three times more water than new models. You can opt for the standard-brick system or buy a water saver if you’re looking for something more robust.
Hydro-electric showers can cost anywhere between £50 and £300. You could even buy a shower head that gives you the feel of a high-pressure shower but uses less water. Or set a timer so you spend less time in the shower.
Do you want to eco clean your home? Natural cleaning products and old-fashioned methods, like those on our online shop, are becoming more popular. A GuppyBag in your washing machine can also trap micro-plastics.
Hydropower in your home
Shared community hydro-projects are the most cost-efficient option. Otherwise you're looking at shelling out a large sum for a standalone project. You should also factor in any return on investment from lower energy costs.
Our work with BMW i
BMW i is committed to creating a more sustainable future and makes use of many of the renewable energy technologies that we do. While hydropower is used to power many of the historic buildings in our care, it also plays an important role in the modern production of carbon fibre for its electric cars.
BMW i3s made at the manufacturer's Leipzig plant take 70 per cent less water and 50 per cent less energy to build than a normal car. The car creates zero driving emissions and is up to 85 per cent recyclable.
Our partnership with BMW i means we can invest even more in renewable energy projects, and make travel to the places we care for more sustainable by expanding our network of electric vehicle charging points.