Switched on to saving energy at Sedbusk
They are switched on to energy-saving ideas at the 24 bedroom Stone House Hotel at Sedbusk, near Hawes, from the low energy light bulbs installed throughout the Grade 2 listed building to the wood pellet boiler that supplies all its central heating and hot water.
Owners Peter Westwood and his brother-in-law Chris Taplin are constantly looking for new ways to push forward their green agenda. Their latest ideas are to install a charging point for electric cars and to offer guests electric bikes to hire. Both developments will happen during 2015.
“We believe we will be the first hotel in the area to install a charging point for electric cars, “says Peter who makes the point that they are keen to be green because it helps them to operate their business more efficiently and to cut costs.
Putting green thinking into action
Their biomass boiler is a good example of how they have put this thinking into action. “When Chris and I took over running the hotel in 1991, the heating system ran on oil as there is no mains gas here. As the years have gone by we have added nine bedrooms but the boilers just got older and less efficient.
“We looked very carefully into alternatives and even went to see York City Council’s woodchip boiler system but in the end having taken advice from a firm of energy consultants, we decided to go for a wood pellet system from an Austrian firm, Eta. We have a 140kw boiler and two buffer tanks which store 3000 litres of water for central heating plus a third buffer tank for hot water.”
Energy centre with solar panels
The boiler and tanks are housed in a renewable energy centre discreetly placed at the top of the car park. The cedar clad building has solar panels and a green roof.
Peter, who has a wood pellet boiler and solar panels at his home in Castle Bolton, adds that to ensure the system worked as efficiently as possible, they paid to have a new, larger diameter pipe installed between a pumping station a mile away and the hotel so the water pressure would be at the optimal level.
All this represents an investment of more than £100,000 but, thanks to the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive, this is expected to be recouped within six or seven years.
Secure bike barn
Peter’s son, Josh, a keen mountain biker, has also played his part in pursuing the green agenda. At his suggestion the hotel has built a secure bike barn for cyclists. It is alarmed and has bike washing facilities outside. Cyclists are given a key card to gain access. In a further green move, the hotel is teaming up with Stage 1 Cycles of Askrigg to offer guided cycling tours from one to three days.
All the hotel’s bedrooms have been refurbished and aeriated shower heads fitted in the ensuite bathrooms, reducing water consumption by a third. In other ecological moves, all laundry is done at the hotel and all cleaning products are biodegradable.
With all these green credentials, Peter and Chris have applied to be graded under the Green Tourism scheme. They are hoping to achieve gold status at the first attempt.
For more information, call Peter Westwood on 01969 667571 or visit www.stonehousehotel.co.uk