EDINBURGH Castle has found an innovative way to save on its massive heating bills – sheep’s wool.
Scotland’s top paying tourist attraction saw its energy bills plummet by nearly £110,000 last year after fitting insulation made of the natural heat saver.
Using sheep’s wool has also cut the castle’s carbon footprint by 18% in the space of a year.
The tourist hot spot welcomes 1.3m visitors every year and uses the energy equivalent of 300 homes.
Dr Ewan Hyslop, head of sustainability and science for Historic Scotland, said that sheep’s wool was an effective way of maintaining heat in the castle.
He said: “Being a natural material, its breathable, which is important in a historic building as it allows moisture and dampness out.
“It’s easy to handle as you don’t need to wear protective equipment, it has great thermal qualities and it’s also fire resistant.
“On top of that, it’s sustainable and by using it we are supporting the rural economies.”
He added: “The bottom’s fallen out of the wool market and using this is supporting our indigenous industry, as we should.”
As well as introducing sheep’s wool insulation, the castle has also replaced hundreds of light bulbs with energy saving ones, insulated exposed pipes and fitting smart meters to measure where the energy is being used.
The five-year plan aims to lead to bigger investment, such as replacing existing boilers with more energy efficient ones.
Dr Hyslop added: “It’s not all about technology, a lot of its really simple stuff. People are often great at being green at home but often aren’t as much when out or at work.
“The buildings we work with at Historic Scotland present their own challenges but how we manage these can hopefully have a knock-on effect with out other older, stone buildings.”