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Clean energy and conservation



Charmaine Coutinho, business development manager at Good Energy, gives her insight on an exciting new development with one of the UK’s leading conservation organisations.

Spring finally feels as though it’s arrived and I can just about see a glimmer of summer in the distance. It makes me think it’s time to get out and make the most of the great British outdoors and its changeable weather.

And where better to go than any of the hundreds of National Trust places and properties around the UK – perfect come sunshine, wind or rain.

As National Trust’s principal energy partner, we’ve been helping it develop its energy strategy. This sees the Trust harnessing the UK’s natural elements and putting clean, green power into a further 43 of its historic properties.

The ambitious plan will start with an investment of £3.5m in five pilot projects using hydro, biomass and heat pumps during 2013/14. The Trust wants to generate 50% of its energy from renewable sources and halve the use of fossil fuels by 2020.

As a leading UK charity, National Trust aims to maintain and conserve the special places under its care. Many are historic properties and places of natural beauty so are particularly vulnerable to any change. Therefore central to the strategy is making sure any development is sensitive to its surroundings and has the most appropriate technology for the location.

One of the pilot projects will be at Plas Newydd, on the shores of the breathtakingly beautiful Menai Strait in north Wales. The aim is to replace aging and inefficient oil boilers with a 300 kilowatt (kW) marine source heat pump.

The current boilers are capable of burning up to 1,500 litres of oil a day in the cold winter months – an astonishing figure and the same quantity an average household would use in a year! The planned marine heat pump will be one of the largest of its type in the UK and able to provide all of the energy needed to heat the property.

Investing the total planned £35m in renewable technologies will enable the Trust to reduce its energy costs by £4m per annum, giving it the much-needed resources to carry on important conservation work.

Juliet Davenport, our CEO and founder, said,“Britain is blessed with abundant sources of natural power and we hope people will be inspired when they see how National Trust properties can generate renewable energy in harmony with the environment.

Together we hope to encourage people to switch to green electricity, reduce their energy usage and, if possible, generate their own renewable power at home.”

It’s been an exciting time working with the Trust, being able to offer our guidance and expertise in producing renewable energy and supporting microgenerators. These five pilot projects are just the beginning and if successful, there are plans to put 38 further schemes into place.

You can support the projects by switching to Good Energy; sign up quoting National Trust and we’ll donate £40 per year for every dual fuel customer. You can also find out more about our partnership on our website.

Blue & Green Tomorrow readers can switch to Good Energy here.

Further reading:

National Trust plans ambitious renewable energy rollout

Renewables given boost through Good Energy’s encouraging annual figures

Manifesto published to accelerate ‘community energy revolution’

The Guide to Limitless Clean Energy