Historic UK palace embraces renewable energy to safeguard future

Blenheim Palace, an Oxfordshire, UK, UNESCO World Heritage Site, has instigated a series of environmental initiatives in a bid both to reduce its reliance on traditional energies and its overall carbon footprint.

Among the most significant improvements are a 42% reduction in overall mains water consumption from 2013, the lowest electricity usage figures in five years, and an 81% reduction in its use of heating oil.

The estate has also made major investments in upgrading its heating systems, including the installation of two biomass boilers in the Pleasure Gardens and its Park Farm maintenance workshop, and a phased move from a steam to a water-based heating system for the Palace.

This has resulted in the lowest gas consumption figures in three years and a 5% reduction in the consumption per degree day – indicating the duration and severity of cold weather – from 1,110kWh in 2014 to 1,063kWh in 2015.

Blenheim Palace has also invested heavily in solar panels and replacing traditional lights with more energy efficient alternatives with a third of all lighting within the Palace now being LED.

Heather Carter, head of operations at the Palace, said: “We are looking at every aspect of the day to day running of the Estate to see where and how we can reduce our overall energy consumption and make use of alternative energy sources – both to reduce our running costs and minimise our environmental impact.

“To continually reduce our carbon footprint year-on-year while simultaneously welcoming more and more visitors to Blenheim is quite an achievement, but there is still a very long way to go,” she added.

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