Natural power leads to conservation benefits for Acorn Bank

The National Trust’s Acorn Bank, near Temple Sowerby, is one of the first places to benefit from a new partnership with renewable electricity supplier Good Energy, aimed at reducing the Trust’s reliance on fossil fuels.

The 16th century house at Temple Sowerby was previously using around 26,000 litres of oil each year –  that’s the same volume as filling up Acorn Bank’s historic pond every month.

But now, thanks to funding from Good Energy, two 50 year-old boilers at the Grade I Listed property has been replaced with a new wood-fuelled biomass system.

The renewable energy project forms part of the National Trust’s wider aims to become fit for the future by generating 50% of energy from renewable sources and reducing fossil fuel use by half by 2020.

Sara Braithwaite, Custodian for Acorn Bank said: “This new biomass boiler is fantastic because it not only provides a much more efficient heating solution but it is also better for the environment and our treasured biodiversity, including salmon, trout and newts.

Sara Braithwaite, Custodian at Acorn Bank (left) and Charmaine Coutinho of Good Energy, (right) with one of the efts (juvenile newt) that live in the historic pond at the house. The volume of water in the pond is equivalent to the monthly volume of oil formerly used by the National Trust property.

Sara Braithwaite, Custodian at Acorn Bank (left) and Charmaine Coutinho of Good Energy, (right) with one of the efts (juvenile newt) that live in the historic pond at the house. The volume of water in the pond is equivalent to the monthly volume of oil formerly used by the National Trust property.

“When installing the system, we had to work really carefully to ensure there was no impact to the historic building, and we actually managed to improve the façade and the roof on the old coal bunker in the process.”

Sara added: “Now the boiler just purrs away and it’s running off locally-sourced wood pellets. Every measure we take helps to reduce our carbon footprint and conserving this special place for the generations to follow us.”

Charmaine Coutinho of Good Energy (left), and Sara Braithwaite, Custodian at Acorn Bank (right), chat over the benefits of low-carbon energy in the cellar of the 17th century building. In order to prevent damage to the fabric of the house, the new boilers had to be taken in piece-by-piece and then built in-situ in the cellars of this historic building.

Charmaine Coutinho of Good Energy (right), and Sara Braithwaite, Custodian at Acorn Bank (left), chat over the benefits of low-carbon energy in the cellar of the 17th century building. In order to prevent damage to the fabric of the house, the new boilers had to be taken in piece-by-piece and then built in-situ in the cellars of this historic building.

Charmaine Coutinho, Business Development Manager at Good Energy said: “We hope visitors will be inspired when they see renewable energy in action at such a beautiful place. The idyllic location demonstrates why it is so important to look after the environment and lower our carbon emissions.”

This project is funded by customers on our main certified green electricity tariff. As well as guaranteeing that all the electricity they use in a year is sourced from renewables, the tariff also finances sustainable heat projects for the National Trust. The new biomass boiler will help Acorn Bank to cut its use of fossil fuels and save approximately 80 tonnes of carbon emission per year.

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