30% drop in energy costs at Edinburgh Castle

One of Scotland’s most popular and enduring attractions has benefited as part of a programme to reduce energy costs.
The beautiful and impressive landmark that is Edinburgh Castle has been subject to some simple and creative solutions as part of the incentive by Historic Environment Scotland, and as a result the heating and lighting bills there have decreased by around 30%.

Low energy bulbs have been installed, sheep wool has been placed in attics in in parts of the building where new boilers are in place.

Edinburgh Castle is made up of 27 separate buildings, some of them with five foot thick walls, so the work can be challenging at times. Roger Curtis, technical research manager at Historic Environment Scotland said: “You have this site, some of which dates from medieval times and other parts from the 19th century, such as the barracks. You also have a modern café within all that to consider.”
Other locations to have reaped the benefits of the project are Kilmartin Church in Argyll, where some surfaces are heated by radiant panels that have been fitted to the walls, and a heat pump using an air source can increase the temperature by 14C.

And at Blair Castle in Perthshire, the hydro scheme that was in use for 100 years prior to the site being connected to the National Grid has been put back into use to provide power.
Mr Curtis said: “In Scotland we are relatively lucky as the majority of these buildings are similar in the sense that they use a similar range of traditional materials although they are different geometrically in scale.”

And making sure that the floor is well insulated is one of the keys to saving energy on heating: “You just feel much warmer if your feet aren’t cold. Sometimes all you need is a well insulated floor” said Mr Curtis.