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Case Study

Ash Barton Estate

  • Biomass and Solar PV
  • £38,500 overall annual savings via sustainable upgrade
  • Saving £9,500 a year in fuel costs
  • £22-25,000 a year in RHI payments
  • Solar PV anual benefit £6,500

The Client

Built in 1776, The Ash Barton Estate is a Grade II listed manor house set in 25 acres of stunning Devon countryside. The Estate is located in Braunton, North Devon, offering family holidays, weddings and conferences.

The Challenge

The Estate was using heating oil to heat the 13 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms, which not only proved very costly but the 4 separate oil boilers were becoming unreliable and difficult to maintain. These were the driving factors for the owner, Simon Daukes, to consider more sustainable solutions – a central biomass boiler for heating and solar PV.

The year round nature of the estate’s business meant the time scale for the installation of these solutions was very tight, with only 8 weeks  available for a complete turnkey installation.

The Solution

1. Reduce costs
It was agreed that a central biomass boiler (to heat the whole of the estate through a district heating scheme) was the best and most cost-effective option. With space being no issue and wanting to benefit our client from a fully automated system, IU Energy recommended a 199kW ETA Hack wood chip biomass boiler with a full ETA control package.

2. Improved comfort to customers
With the heating systems now operating correctly, areas of the estate that previously struggled for heat are comfortable regardless of the weather.

3. Increased energy cost security
The use of biomass as an alternative to heating oil reduces energy price fluctuation risk. The estate purchases biomass fuel from local wood chip supplier, ‘Bonedry Woodfuel’ whose depot is located less than 5 miles away. The boiler also has a 5 year warranty to protect against any break-downs or maintenance works.

4. Benefit from the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments
The UK Government’s RHI scheme encourages the uptake of renewable heat technologies by offering regular payments for producing heat via renewable or low carbon sources.

5. Additional cost savings
IU Energy also installed a 50kW array of Solar PV and provided a turnkey solution by managing an upgraded electricity supply. The new electrical supply has increased the reliability of the electric supply to site and reduced outages, as well as allowing additional expansion of the estate’s operation into previously redundant buildings.

The Results

The estate has benefited greatly from the biomass boiler & solar PV:

  • Saving £9,500 a year in fuel costs
  • Earning £22-25,000 a year in RHI payments
  • The Solar PV generates an additional annual benefit of £6,500

Therefore, the estate has made a total annual saving of £38,500.

The payback period for the biomass and solar PV installation will be just 4 years, proving it to be a financially viable solution as well as contributing to carbon reduction and a cleaner future.

“IU Energy were by some margin the most helpful, intelligent and responsive company we talked to when evaluating the project. They were incredibly professional, responsive and helpful during installation and they have been attentive and efficient post installation. I have already strongly recommended them to two friends and I will continue to do so.”

Simon Daukes


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