English Heritage to deploy green energy champions across estate

Charity English Heritage is set to appoint 20 green energy champions among its staff in a bid to improve energy efficiency and monitor energy consumption across its estate of more than 400 historic sites.

Ecotricity will fund the creation of a full-time national energy manager role at English Heritage, which looks after historic sites such as Stonehenge

Ecotricity will fund the creation of a full-time national energy manager role at English Heritage, which looks after historic sites such as Stonehenge

The move is part of the charity’s partnership with Ecotricity, with the energy company set to monitor the champions and ensure they are helping some of the UK’s most iconic historic sites – including Dover Castle, Battle Abbey and Clifford’s Tower - to become more energy efficient.

English Heritage’s estates director Rob Woodside said the partnership will encourage carbon-conscious behaviour change among the charity’s stakeholders, as well as boosting its green credentials and reducing costs.

“As a new charity with ambitions to become entirely financially independent by 2023, English Heritage needs to be looking at different ways in which it can save money and our new partnership with Ecotricity will enable English Heritage to do just that,” Woodside said.

“With Ecotricity’s support, we will effectively monitor and review energy consumption at our collection of over 400 historic sites, putting environmental sustainability first to help improve the charity’s green credentials and encourage English Heritage Members, staff and volunteers to consider their own carbon footprint.”

As part of the partnership, Ecotricity will donate money to English Heritage for every person who switches their energy supply. These donations will fund the creation of a full-time national energy manager role at English Heritage, with the new manager taking up responsibility for reducing the charity’s carbon emissions, making its sites more sustainable and introducing cost and environmental savings.

“English Heritage are responsible for some of our oldest and most beautiful sites but have the vision to be involved with renewable energy schemes - which we think of as future heritage,” added Ecotricity founder Dale Vince. “History doesn’t stand still and neither are English Heritage, which is great to see.”

Renewable heritage

A number of heritage sites and charities have turned to energy efficiency to save up some much needed capital. Members of the Fit For Future Network, which includes the National trust, RSPB and Oxfam, have collectively saved almost £7m on energy procurement costs from fossil fuel sources after generating more than 48GWh on renewable energy to power estates in 2017.

According to the network’s annual impact report, its 102 members saved £6.97m on energy produced by fossil fuels and produced 48.5GW of renewable energy last year - enough to power a National Trust mansion for 138 years.

The National Trust itself is embarking towards self-sufficient energy generation, having produced 12% of its heat from on-site renewable energy sources in 2016 – four years ahead of Britain's national renewable heat targets.

The British conservation organisation has also drastically reduced its reliance on oil consumption, with a 50% drop on 2009 levels, as of December 2016.

National Trust's lead project manager for renewable energy, Adrian Fox, will be presenting on edie's upcoming 'Powering Ahead' webinar on 31 May, which provides insight from leading organisations on how capture the benefits of onsite renewables. You can register for the webinar for free here.

Sarah George


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