The solar hot water panels at Cwmbiga. Space and water heating for the farmhouse and holiday cottages is provided by a 50kW log burning boiler. Fitted by a local firm, the boiler is fuelled with logs from our own trees and those harvested from the Hafren Forest by the Forestry Commission. The Commission has supported us financially through its "Wood Energy Business Scheme".
Heat is also provided by 40 square metres of solar thermal panels, one of the biggest privately owned arrays in Wales. The panels were fitted by another local business. The Energy Saving Trust supported the project through its "Low Carbon Building Programme". Unlike their photo-voltaic counterparts, solar thermal panels are low tech and take relatively little energy to produce.
Our electricity is supplied from renewable resources, by Good Energy. This, together with the wood burning boiler and extensive solar panels, takes us a long way towards our ultimate aim of being carbon neutral.
The holiday cottages have under floor heating, are highly insulated and supplementary heating is provided by wood burning stoves. The "Environmental Index" calculated for building regulations is 95A - that is, excellent. A local builder completed all the building work.
All appliances are 'A' rated or better. Most lights are fitted with low energy (compact fluorescent) lamps. The toilets are dual flush (min 3 litres per flush) and the showers are fitted with aerating heads to reduce water usage. We supply guests with cleaning products from the Ecover range and provide bins for recycling glass, paper and plastic. We compost all vegetable waste and have planted 1,250 trees (mixed hardwoods) on our land. We have a colony of bees.
Our environmental policy is available here. You can also read more about the wood boiler / solar panels here or you can find out more by attending one of our short courses on renewables.
We also offer bespoke advice on renewables and prepare feasibility studies for businesses and community groups.