National Trust invests £3.5m on renewables

You’ve probably visited some of their grand old stately homes – but now your visit to a National Trust property could include a peek at a green energy project too. […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

You’ve probably visited some of their grand old stately homes – but now your visit to a National Trust property could include a peek at a green energy project too.

The National Trust is set to invest £3.5 million on renewable projects in a bid to cut its reliance on oil and provide clean energy to 43 of its historic properties.

The UK conservation charity announced a partnership with green electricity supplier Good Energy today for five pilot projects, including hydro, biomass and heat pumps.

The National Trust spends nearly £6 million every year to heat and power its estate and forecasts that rising oil and gas prices would take the amount to £7.5 million by 2020 if no action is taken.

If the pilot is successful, the Trust plans to spend ten times the amount in a programme that will see it generate 50% of its energy from renewable sources and halve its fossil fuel use by 2020, which is expected to cut its energy costs by £4.3 million a year and provide 10% return on investment from 2019.

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.

“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.”

Plas Newydd, Croft Castle (pictured), Ickworth, Craflwyn and Stickle Ghyll are the five sites for the pilot project.