Dartington Trust continues its transition to a target of net zero carbon by 2030 by further reducing the use of oil.
Pipework has been laid to connect the Dartington Estate’s main biomass boiler, which uses wood chip pellets, to the buildings at Higher Close, used for staff offices and for the student refectory and common room.
It will reduce the annual cost to less than one sixth of the former bill – just over £25,000. In addition the cost of the switch from the old oil burner system will be paid for by the savings in just seven months according to Dartington Trust’s facilities manager Nick Harris, who has led the project.
Nick said the biomass is considered a carbon neutral energy source as long as the chips are sourced from a sustainable and regenerative source. The Trust meets this criteria by using material supplied by a company from Frome in Somerset using wood offcuts.
CEO Alan Boldon emphasised that this was a significant step forward for the Trust there was a still an environmental cost associated with biomass and this phase was simply part of the Trust’s transitional plan to meet 2030 targets.
The biomass boiler, was already providing heat to the listed medieval Courtyard buildings, café and the Green Table and the Barn Café and student accommodation blocks surrounding Higher Close.
However it now the entire Higher Close building and surrounding accommodation blocks via the biomass boiler, behind the Green Table café.
In addition to the significant savings and reduced carbon emissions by switching away from oil, the Trust will get an additional annual grant of £20,000 as part of the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme.