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National Trust invests £3.5m in renewable energy

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The National Trust has launched an ambitious project in conjunction with clean energy supplier Good Energy to supply 43 of its properties with renewable energy.

The Trust will invest nearly £3.5 million in five pilot projects, including hydro, biomass and heat pumps, during 2013/14.

If the pilot is successful, the Trust says it expects to spend ten times that sum in a programme that will see it generate 50 per cent of its energy from renewable sources and halve its fossil fuel consumption by 2020.

The National Trust’s four million members will also be able to support the programme by signing up for renewable electricity with the charity’s energy partner, Good Energy. The company will pay the Trust £40 per year for each new customer signing up to its dual fuel tariff via the National Trust.

If 5 per cent of member households adopted the tariff it would raise £3.8 million for investment in a low carbon future and see 95,000 households powered by clean, green renewably sourced electricity.

Patrick Begg, rural enterprises director at National Trust, said: “Through our work we show that renewable technologies can be made to work in some of the country’s most sensitive landscapes and historic environments.

“Like householders everywhere we are facing rising energy bills. We spend more than £6 million each year heating and powering the places in our care.

“By investing in renewable energy production we can reduce our energy bills and invest more in vital conservation work around the country. It will put renewable energy at the heart of conservation.”

Juliet Davenport, ceo of Good Energy, 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 power in harmony with the environment.

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

The Trust’s five pilot projects this year will include:

  • Plas Newydd – 300kW marine source heat pump, providing 100 per cent of property’s heat requirements
  • CroftCastle – 150kW biomass boiler, supplying 74 per cent of property’s heating needs
  • Ickworth – 300kW biomass boiler, supplying 100 per cent of estate’s heating needs
  • Craflwyn – more than 100kW hydro-generation, which will be sold back to the grid
  • Stickle Ghyll – 90kW hydro-electric project providing 30 per cent of property’s energy needs