A National Trust property, once owned by the family that founded the Shell oil company, has made the switch from oil to a renewable energy heating system.
Upton House, in Warwickshire, was using 25,000 litres of oil each year to heat the estate. It now produces the equivalent energy from two new wood pellet boilers, which is enough to heat eleven average sized houses. This will save £6,000 a year on heating bills and 55 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
The successful completion of the Upton House and Gardens project is the first milestone in the Trust’s £30 million investment programme in renewable energy, announced last year, to heat and power some of its historic places .
The estate and gardens were gifted to the Trust by owner, and then Shell chairman, Lord Bearsted, in 1948.
Ed Wood, the Trust’s renewables project manager at Upton House, said: “The irony that the estate was owned by a family whose fortune was built on oil was not lost on us when we started our project to take Upton off this fossil fuel.
“In the past, oil was the most effective way to heat the property. Times have changed and to lower our carbon emissions and meet our targets to generate 50 per cent of all energy we use from renewable sources by 2020 we felt it important to change our energy source here.”
The property removed four oil boilers, and in doing so, the associated risks of oil leaks. The new biomass boilers, with the wood pellets sourced from the UK, are heating the house, property offices, the squash court gallery, restaurant and cottage.
Julie Smith, General Manager at Upton House, said: “Installing the new heating system has met the energy needs of this wonderful country house with appropriate consideration for the heritage of the property and gardens.
”It took just eight weeks to install and clearly shows how we are committed to safeguarding our heritage and helping to protect the natural environment.”
Mike Hudson, Renewable Energy Director for the National Trust, said: “This is a great example of what support from the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme is enabling the Trust to do. Schemes like these cut carbon, promote local sustainable wood management and work in harmony with the natural and built environment. They work for the local environment and economy and support national energy and climate change ambitions.”