Organic Energy Case Studies

Heather Glen, Cumbria
The 56kW Pellematic boiler and Flexilo wood pellet storage tank in-situ
The system had to be retrofitted to the existing pipework and radiators
The buffer tank ready for solar thermal integration

The Client

Heather Glen is a country house set in nearly three acres of the Cumbrian countryside, in the Eden Valley. The main building dates from the late Victorian era and has recently been extended to include a function room which includes the 120-seat Eden Restaurant. Heather Glen is both a conference and wedding venue, offering rooms for overnight guests and a restaurant to cater for functions.

Previously heated by LPG, the heating system needed updating with owner Dennis Smith wishing to move to a greener alternative which would provide heat and hot water for the main house, which has single-glazed lead windows throughout, and the new extension. The property's previous energy bills were costly, with the heating and hot water provided by two 2,000 litre LPG tanks using approximately 12,000 litres of LPG per year.

The Brief

Given the £500,000 investment in the function room extension, the owner saw the opportunity to install a sustainable energy system which could provide heating and hot water for the entire building. Although sustainability was key to the brief, the owner wished to reduce the property's energy bills and be eligible for any Government incentive which would be available.

In addition, the brief was to ensure the installation could be linked up to the existing pipework in the main property and include ways in which the owner could take advantage of other renewable energy sources in the future. Following discussions with installer, Sustaburn of Lancashire, an ÖkoFEN wood pellet boiler heating system, supplied from Organic Energy, the UK and Ireland's sole distributor of ÖkoFEN heating systems, was decided upon as the preferred solution.

A dedicated space had been created underneath the main extension to house a beer cellar, storage area as well as a boiler room.

The Solution

Organic Energy supplied a 56kW ÖkoFEN automatic wood pellet boiler to Heather Glen, part of an installation by Sustaburn which included a 7 tonne FleXILO Plus pellet store linked into a 1,500-litre buffer with a solar coil. This feeds an underfloor heating system in the new function room extension, radiators in the main property and two 3,000 litre cylinders. The boiler has an automatic fuel supply, an ash compression system, boiler 'back end' protection and fully automated digital heating controls. When pellets are delivered into the main hopper, this is recorded on the boiler control panel and then an on-board weighing system measures the pellets used as they go through the internal hopper.

The system, retrofitted to the existing pipework, included design and installation including work to transfer the system from open vented to a pressurised system, as well as capital costs of the boiler, pellet store, buffer, distribution pumps and cylinders. All of the venue's heating and hot water is provided by the installation, which has been designed to meet the brief of ensuring additional renewable energy solutions can be added to the existing system. The Gasokol tank, which provides a buffer supply of hot water, is fitted with a solar coil which can link in to any future installation of solar panels at the property.


Heather Glen's energy bills have been cut by around £5,000 per year, with an annual saving of 48 tonnes of CO2. The property requires around 18 tonnes of wood pellets a year, costing between £3,000- £3,500.

The installation has also been approved as being eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive, with the owners estimated to receive up to around £7,000 per year in incentive, more than covering the cost of the fuel.

The solar coil in the buffer is not yet connected but is future-proofing for the installation, with the owners' long-term plan to put solar PV panels on the roof of the extension to assist with the hot water costs.

The two 3,000 litre cylinders are also in place in readiness for extending the system, with the owners planning to create lodge-style self-catering accommodation on the property which could also receive heat and hot water from the installation.

For further details please call Organic Energy on 01938 530 070 or email