Off the blocks

I’ve had a fantastic few days spent on the Llyn Peninsula and in Snowdonia, part work and part play, and seem to have had the best of the weather. I’ve kickstarted my tour of Wales to carry out energy surveys of all the NT’s holiday properties. I managed to get to 5/6 of the properties on the Llyn peninsula. The Llyn is a beautiful and unspoilt part of the world with some fantastic beaches and rugged shoreline, and some fantastic cottages with real character in stunning settings. One of the cottages, in Porthdinllaen was booked so unfortunately I’ll have to go back there sometime to do this one (what a shame!).

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Plas yn Rhiw cottage

First stop was the cottage at Plas yn Rhiw. A good place to start as it has definitely got room for improvement, partly relying on night storage heaters for heating the property and immersion heater for hot water and having some very leaky windows and doors. On the day I visited the storage heaters were cranking out heat yet the upstairs windows were open – go figure! There is room around the property for heat pumps or solar PV, but we’ll have to look into this in more detail to see if it is viable.

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View from Plas yn Rhiw cottage with Hell’s Mouth in the distance

I also visited Pant cottage, also in Rhiw. This is in a stunning location (see view below). Also having no gas supply this property relies on electric heating, mainly storage heaters. Again there is potential for using renewables here.

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Pant cottage also has a great view of Porth Neigwl (Hell’s Mouth)

Finally I visited Henfaes in Aberdaron, which houses three flats, which have been recently refurbished to a high standard, and has majority of double glazed wooden or uPVC windows so is very well insulated. Still a few things that can be done to improve matters here though.

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Henfaes in Aberdaron

Just to highlight why it’s important why I’m carrying out these surveys I’ve pinched one of Keith’s graph from a recent blog post – showing that the holiday cottages combined are the single highest user of energy out of the units in Wales.

 Click here to see his blog: http://ntenvironmentalwork.net/2012/05/01/energy-use-and-knowing-where-your-starting-from-national-trust-holiday-cottages/.

It’s good to get these surveys under way and I look forward to the next round of reviews.

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