Iconic Stourhead House gets cutting edge heating system

First big delivery of woodchip for the new Stourhead biomass boiler

Iconic Stourhead House has been given a renewable burst of energy, which will save on bills and carbon emissions, thanks to a cutting edge, greener heating system.

It previously took 33,000 litres of oil per year to heat the Palladian house on the Wiltshire estate. The old oil boilers where removed and replaced with two woodchip boilers.

The new biomass system means the property will save a massive £19,000 a year on heating bills and 90 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The money saved will be invested in conservation projects on the 2650-acre estate.

Local, sustainable fuel

The new biomass system is fuelled by locally sourced, sustainably grown wood which will be supplied and chipped ready for use by local suppliers. The long term objective will better this still, as the Stourhead Estate readies itself to supply their own wood chip.

The successful completion of the project marks another key milestone in the our £33 million investment programme in renewable energy.

Patrick Begg, our rural enterprises director, said: “Nationally we’ve got an ambitious target to generate 50% of our energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. The switch to wood chip in Stourhead House will contribute 1% towards meeting this challenge”.

Blending in with the surroundings

The biomass boilers themselves have been installed into the Pumphouse, which has been renovated as part of this project, located just behind Stourhead House. It has been designed to be sympathetic to the original building, and to blend in with its surroundings.

The heat energy created by the wood chip is carried 150m into the house via an underground pipe. The hot water carrying pipes enter the basement of Stourhead House and then continue around the house, ensuring that it is heated to the correct levels needed to conserve the collection, and offer comfort for its visitors.

A greener future

Emily Blanshard, house and collections manager, said “We’re really excited that this project is complete. It’s been many years in the making and we’re grateful to have had such a hard-working team to turn the ideas into reality.

“Being able to heat the house and preserve the collection using a renewable local source is a fantastic step towards a sustainable future for Stourhead and the removal of the old oil-fired boilers from the basement of the mansion will have a huge effect on the conservation of the treasured furniture and paintings.”