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National Trust opts for wood chip boiler

The National Trust has replaced the oil-fired boiler at one of its 17th century stately homes with a green, energy-efficient alternative.

The installation of a wood chip pellet biomass boiler at Sudbury Hall, in Derbyshire, last week is part of a wider NT drive to significantly reduce the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions its historical buildings produce through heat.

According to research by Lorien Engineering Solutions, the existing oil-fired boiler at Sudbury Hall produced approximately 151 tonnes of CO2 a year. The biomass boiler should produce an
estimated 90 per cent less.

Upgrading the boiler to a more energy-efficient oil-fired model or modifying the boiler so that it could run on less environmentally harmful fuel was deemed inappropriate.

A National Trust spokeswoman said: “We understand some boilers can be made more energy-efficient and environmentally responsible with the use of controls and by switching to different fuels but we are looking at moving away from our reliance on fossil fuels. That is one of the reasons we decided to opt for a biomass model.

“Besides, NT properties are situated in great estates with lots of trees, which can provide a reliable source of fuel.

She added: “The biomass boiler was the best solution for Sudbury Hall. We have to take into account the fact that most of our properties are listed buildings and so we have to work within planning constraints. In some cases, it is not always appropriate to put solar panels on the roofs.”

The work at Sudbury Hall cost £150,000.