Organic Energy Case Studies

The entrance to Tyrnog Liveries at Llandyrnog in North Wales
Ray Owen, owner of Tyrnog Liveries with the new 48kW Pellematic boiler

Established over 30 years ago by current owner Ray Owen's grandfather, the renowned trainer Edward Hollister Owen, Tyrnog Liveries at Llandyrnog in North Wales is dedicated to providing top-quality facilities for horses and their owners (see www.northwaleslivery.co.uk). The business today comprises a racing yard, livery for 21 horses and rehabilitation for 25 horses rescued by the RSPCA. There is also a small farming operation, for cattle and winter sheep.

Unfortunately, the quality of the equine services at the Liveries wasn’t being matched by the heating facilities. Ray, himself a top-level competitive tetrathlete and point-to-to-point trainer, takes up the story.

"We have a number of buildings at the livery, and some very specific requirements. As well as the office, there's the house, a caravan used by staff, and a tack room.

At home, we'd been reliant on an old Aga, bought by my grandmother in 1947 - originally wood burning, but later converted to oil - plus an oil-fired boiler installed in the early 1990s. These were supplemented by electric heaters in the office and caravan, and electric oil storage radiators in the tack room for drying the horse blankets. The boiler was just guzzling oil and we couldn't afford to have the heating on 24/7, which we needed having recently had a baby. In short, it was an expensive mess!"

Ray called on local specialists Hafod Renewable Energy to sort things out, and after a detailed survey of the premises and its requirements they recommended a 48kW ÖkoFEN wood pellet boiler, with the pellets automatically vacuum-fed from a moisture-proof Flexilo storage tank. The boiler is housed in a central plant room and connected to a district heating system that serves the house and office. It also feeds a domestic hot water cylinder and radiators for the tack room. Overall efficiency of the system is now 92%, compared to the previous AGA/boiler efficiency of just 65%.

Better still, as well as a clean, controllable, low-carbon heating system, the cost savings have been striking: In the first year alone, heating bills have dropped from £4,500 to £2,500, and the Owens have received RHI payments totalling £4,900. Quite understandably, Ray and the family are delighted:

"When you're getting paid to make your own heat it's a no-brainer. But even if we weren't getting paid on the RHI I would still recommend it. The new ÖkoFEN boiler is worth its weight in gold."