U.K. National Trust to Power Historic Buildings With Renewables

A charity that protects some of Britain’s historic places including the family home of Winston Churchill plans to build five clean-energy test plants as it seeks to get half its energy from renewables by 2020.

The National Trust will spend about 3.5 million pounds ($5.3 million) building projects in the next year including hydropower and biomass, and if they’re successful it plans to spend 10 times that amount by 2020, the Swindon, England-based organization said today in a statement on its website. This may reduce its energy bill by more than 4 million pounds a year.

“Like householders everywhere we are facing rising energy bills,” Patrick Begg, rural enterprises director, said in the statement. “We spend more than 6 million pounds each year heating and powering the places in our care.”

National Trust members can support the program by buying renewable electricity from Good Energy Ltd. Good Energy will then pay the trust 40 pounds a year for each new customer that signs up to its so-called dual-fuel tariff through the National Trust. If 5 percent of member households sign up it would raise 3.8 million pounds and result in 95,000 homes powered from renewables.

The Trust’s properties include Chartwell in Kent, the principal home of the wartime prime minister.