Edward Milbank decided to act when the annual fuel oil bill for Barningham Park, near Barnard Castle, County Durham, reached £18,000.
He set about installing a biomass boiler to provide heat for the main property – a medieval fortified farmhouse – plus a cottage and a stable block which has been converted into commercial offices.
Using timber from woodland on the 7,000 acre estate, Mr Milbank saw his fuel bill drop by a third – and fired his enthusiasm for starting a business designing and fitting biomass boilers and supplying them with chips.
Since launching Pennine Biomass with business partner Andy Howard, chip-powered boilers have been installed in a number stately homes across the region, including Upsall Castle, near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, Thorp Perrow arboretum and gardens, Bedale, and Brettanby Manor, Barton.
Mr Milbank said a number of smaller projects have also been completed and work was currently being done to install a boiler at a school in the south of Scotland.
13th May 2013 Northern Echo