Sustainable Energy – Feature Fridays

March 12 2021 | Castle

The theme for this week’s #FeatureFridays with Historic Houses is Sustainable Energy.

Hever Castle is committed to becoming more environmentally friendly and efficient and is continuing the process of replacing old equipment with more sustainable energy efficient solutions. We are Silver rated for green tourism.

Biomass Fuel

At Hever Castle we operate the estate on biomass fuels which are derived from carbon-based materials contained in living organisms, which can be gasified.

The biomass store at Hever Castle houses a woodchip boiler which heats the entire site. Most of the timber used to power the biomass is sourced from local woodland across Kent, Sussex and Surrey plus a small percentage from our own woods.

We mostly burn chestnut coppice as it means we help support old chestnut coppice woodland, which is good for wildlife. The other particular benefit with chestnut is that its offer sustainable energy because it is coppiced, therefore there is no need to replant after felling, as the new timbers grow out of the stump of the old. It also means that some of the stumps are very old indeed and of course they continue to grow underground, locking in lots of carbon permanently.

The introduction of the 995KW boiler also benefits Hever Castle directly as it means we qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive, which is a Government scheme encouraging more renewable sources of heat to reduce fossil fuel burn. The biomass has been a huge success with the total cost of heating the entire site reduced considerably since its implementation.

solar panels

Solar Panels & Light Blubs

Solar panels were installed on the roof of the biomass store in January 2019.

Hever Castle gets paid for every until of electricity generated by the new solar panels and for any sold back to the grid.

It is estimated the panels will generate around 43,200 kilowatts of electricity per year, therefore saving the estate annually whilst using and generating sustainable energy.

Electric Vehicles

As part of a phased plan to replace all diesel Estate vehicles with environmentally friendly alternatives, an electric van is in place for the maintenance team, and the hospitality team have a plug in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and a further car on the estate is now fully electric. Electric golf buggies are also available to take accommodation guests to the golf club.

We will continue to explore ways of becoming ever greener; not only is this good for the environment but over time it should reduce the bills to keep Hever Castle running allowing more resources to spend the money on conversation and repairs.

If you enjoyed this item on sustainable energy then why not discover the previous #Feature Fridays news items.