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Heat from the sea to warm historic house

Posted on 23rd May 2014

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This story is a piece of good news for the environment. More of this, please.

The National Trust, which manages the UK's historical legacy (buildings, parks and forests) has installed a heat pump to heat Plas Newydd (in Wales) using heat from the nearby sea (you can see from one of the photos in the story how close the sea is to the house).

The heat pump can provide 300kW of heating, cost the National Trust £600,000 and is expected to save around £40,000 a year in operating costs. I consider this a step in the right direction, but I do hope no-one is fooling themselves that this is a completely carbon neutral solution.

The manufacture, transport, installation an commissioning of the heat pump uses energy and valuable materials. The energy to operate it, even though much less than the system it replaces (an oil-fired boiler) is only as green as the energy supply company provides (currently not so green, but improving slowly). So not only will it take some years to pay back the financial investment in the heat pump from reduced heating costs, but it will also take some time before the project pays back it's carbon-debt!

Nevertheless, well done The National Trust!