Celebrating renewable energy project success

The Biomass boiler at Gibson Mill, Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire
Published : 28 Jul 2016 Last update : 29 Jul 2016

We have now completed 12 projects in our ambitious programme to generate 50% of our energy from renewable sources at some of our places by 2020.

The three latest projects are at Killerton House, Devon, Nunnington Hall, on the cusp of the North Yorkshire moors and near Bethesda in Snowdonia.

Near Bethesda, we have completed a hydro-powered scheme producing enough electricity to supply 121 homes for a year, offsetting 246 tonnes of CO2 .

Killerton and Nunnington have now moved away from oil-fired heating by installing biomass boilers powered by sustainably sourced wood pellets.

The switch at both properties will improve energy efficiency saving around 42,500 litres of oil and nearly £14,000 in running costs each year.

This helps us to mitigate against climate change by cutting our CO2 emissions at the two properties.

Wildlife protection

The removal of the old boilers has significantly reduced the risk of oil spills in sensitive areas. Nunnington stands next to the River Rye, home to otters and kingfishers.

At 18th-century Killerton we also took care not to disturb a colony of lesser horseshoe bats while installing the cutting-edge technology.

We avoided work during the April to September maternity roost so as not to obstruct this rare species' flight path. A recent bat count has revealed that numbers are increasing.

More projects in the pipeline

The 12 successful so far form part of our £33 million investment programme in renewable energy. This is supported by our green energy partner, the 100% renewable electricity and green gas supplier, Good Energy.

The next few months will see the completion of a biomass system at Stourhead, supplied by wood chip from the estate and another at Penrhyn Castle.

We’re also putting the finishing touches to a heat pump at Blickling Hall and a hydro scheme at Hayswater, amongst others.

In some cases we use wood pellet fired systems instead of wood chip because the chip requires significantly more room to dry and store and at some of our places, space is at a premium.

There can be cost implications and other site specific constraints that may make pellets more appropriate.

Benefits of green energy

Patrick Begg, our rural enterprises director, said: 'By investing in renewable energy generation we are reducing our energy bills at places like Nunnington and Killerton. This enables us to invest more money in our vital conservation work around the country.'

Juliet Davenport OBE, CEO and founder of Good Energy, said: 'It’s fantastic seeing how renewable projects like the biomass boilers at Killerton and Nunnington are transforming the energy use of some our oldest and most special buildings.

'The National Trust is truly inspirational with this approach, helping to build a more sustainable energy future for the UK.'

Our work on energy

Find out more about how we're being careful with the energy we use, and tips for you to reduce energy and save money in your own home