We’d like to take you back in time – to 1954 to be precise, to a cold and draughty stately home in Cumbria.
The wind is whistling across the Levens Hall estate, the fires are lit in almost every room of the Hall, the earliest parts of which date back to the 13th century.
But owner Mr O R Bagot has seen the future, and the future is oil. Ahead of his time, the owner of Levens Hall has installed a state-of-the-art central heating system, guaranteed to bring a cosy warmth to his country home.
So impressed was he with the results of his cost-effective new heating system, Mr Bagot agreed to allow Levens Hall to become a case study for fuel providers Shell-Mex and BP.
The resulting article read…
“The large rooms are now kept comfortably warm even in the coldest Westmoreland winter. Oil-fired heating is the modern method with no equal for comfort and convenience.
“It needs practically no attention. There is no stoking to be done, no ash to clear away. Oil fuel is easy to store and – bought in bulk – is surprisingly economical. Two kinds of oil are supplied for heating – Shell Domestic Fuel Oil for the larger installations and BP Domesticol, the new fuel specially developed for the smaller boilers with vaporising burners.
“Boiler and burner manufacturers are now producing oil-fired units for every requirement, from full central heating in the large country house to hot water supply only in the smaller home.”
Fast forward 58 years….the oil-fired system of the future has proved expensive and the estate’s energy bills are rising. The Hall has opened its doors to the public, from April to October, and the 35,000 visitors it attracts each year cover only some of the running costs.
The Bagot family, emulating the forward thinking of their predecessors and wanting to bring the historic house into the 21st century, knew they needed to address escalating fuel bills and wanted to consider alternatives to the costs of LPG and oil, which were both being consumed.
The present owners decided on a world-class ÖkoFEN wood pellet boiler system for Levens Hall, which included two 56 kW Pellematic boilers and two Flexilocompact pellet stores with a combined pellet capacity of 12 tonnes.
So impressed were the owners with the results of their cost-effective new heating system, they agreed to allow Levens Hall to become a case study for system supplier Organic Energy and installer Martin Robinson, of renewable heating company Sustaburn.
The resulting article read…
“The installation was completed in May 2011 and already Levens Hall is seeing drastically reduced fuel bills. The Bagots were also previously tied-in to regular LPG and oil deliveries, which have been replaced by a delivery of wood pellets two or three times a year.
“The fully-automated system has an automatic fuel supply, an ash compression system, integratedboiler ‘back end’ protection and fully automated digital heating controls. When pellets are delivered into the Flexilo tanks the weight is recorded on the boiler control panel and then an on-board weighing system measures the pellets used as they go through the boilers.
“The boilers also have the Pelletronic On-line system which enables fullremote monitoring and control via the internet. Working with Organic Energy, Sustaburn designed and installedthe project, which had to be sympathetic to the Hall and its history, while providing efficient, low carbon heat to the hall as well as the large propagating green house.”
There’s a kind of poetic symmetry about this historic house that continues to move with the times, demonstrating that whatever our worries about resources or our thinking on sustainability, we continue to find solutions for a new era which can be sympathetically added to a property with a distinguished past.
Often there are challenges along the way, but we like to think that’s what Organic Energy and our skilled installers are here for. We’re very proud to have helped the wonderful Levens Hall into its own new era and we think Mr O R Bagot would approve!