We’ve cut oil consumption by half at our places

We’ve been working hard to cut our energy consumption at the places within our care. By the end of 2016 we managed to reduce our oil usage by half, with more renewable milestones to come.

The Biomass boiler at Gibson Mill, Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire.

The Biomass boiler at Gibson Mill, Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire. All of the Mill’s energy is generated from renewable sources on site. ©National Trust Images/Joe Cornish

This week we’ve been taking part in the Climate Coalition’s Show the Love campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the impact a changing climate is having on special places. Our Forecast Changeable report outlines some of the challenges we’re facing at our own places, and how we’re having to explore new ways to manage our properties in the face of growing conservation challenges.

We look after hundreds of special places that have been running on old boilers and electrical systems for decades, not to mention the draughty halls and high ceilings.  So back in 2009 we set ourselves the challenge of cutting our dependency on oil, using measures like installing heat pumps and environmentally-friendly biomass systems – boilers that run on sustainably-sourced wood chips or pellets.

As 2016 drew to a close we reached a milestone that we’re proud of – by working together across the organisation and with a variety of experts, we’ve reduced our own oil consumption by 50 per cent in under a decade.

“I know that many properties and lots of different teams within the organisation have been working towards this goal for years.

If we, who care for many historic properties that have guzzled oil for centuries, can keep cutting our ties to the fossil fuels that have such a devastating effect on all our green places, we’d really encourage others to do the same.”

Mike Hudson, Programme Director of the Trust’s Renewable Energy Investment (REI) programme

By reaching this milestone we’re doing our bit to curb greenhouse gas emissions; saving an estimated 3,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere every year – that’s about the same as driving an average passenger car non-stop, for more than 13 years.

Feeding the biomass boiler at Chirk Castle, Wrexham, Wales.

Feeding the biomass boiler at Chirk Castle, Wrexham, Wales. ©National Trust Images/Paul Harris

With the help of the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive, which provides incentives to encourage more heat from renewable sources, monies saved from energy bills are also reinvested across the Trust, so we can continue to do our important work looking after the nation’s special places for many years to come.

 “In lots of ways our renewables journey has only just begun – we expect to reach several more key milestones this year as the rate of completing projects takes another big step up. Watch this space.”

If you’d like to find out more about the programme and what other things we’re doing, take a look at the Green Energy pages on our website.

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