Biblins Tea Garden,
wye valley, south wales
Biblins Tea Garden is an off-grid property the Wye Valley, South Wales, which is surrounded by 27,000 acres of woodland. When owners Steve and Julie Lichtenberg moved in, it had been without whole-house heating for almost 200 years. The couple was faced with the challenge of finding an affordable, off-grid alternative to more traditional oil or bottled gas heating systems for the four-bedroom, two-bathroom home and tea garden. They approached South Wales-based heating specialist Topstak for a cost-efficient, sustainable solution.
Barrie Roberts, Renewables Manager at Topstak, recommended and installed a NIBE Vedex 3300 wood-burning boiler. As well as complementing the property’s rural, off-grid location, the inbuilt outlet on top of the unit and its compact design allowed for straightforward integration with the Lichtenbergs’ existing chimney stack. The system now provides the property with a consistent supply of hot water and space heating.
By choosing a NIBE log-burning boiler, Steve and Julie are now spending roughly half what they would have if they’d opted for oil or bottled gas. They are also saving on fuel costs, as their forestry permit allows them to supplement the bought-in kiln-dried wood they use with naturally fallen wood from the surrounding land.
The system will also be eligible for further payments through the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.
"Ours was the first ever NIBE Vedex 3300 to be installed in the UK, and we’re thrilled with the results. We’re right in the middle of the forest, so finding a heating system to suit the location – and one that didn’t cost a fortune to run – was a priority for us. By choosing a NIBE log-burning boiler, we’re spending roughly half what we would have if we’d opted for oil or bottled gas. As well as qualifying for £2,000 of RHPP vouchers to help towards the initial cost of the boiler, we’ll also be eligible for further payments through the domestic RHI scheme.
"On top of these financial benefits, we’re also saving on fuel by making the most of our surroundings. Our forestry permit allows us to supplement the kiln-dried wood we use with naturally fallen wood right from our doorstep. There’s no denying that it has been a learning curve, but we now know the importance of preparing the wood properly, making sure it’s air-dried and stacked correctly for best results. We’ve even discovered how to cook the perfect jacket potatoes in the embers! Not only are we very impressed with the excellent service we received from Topstak, we’re so pleased with our renewable heating system that we’re planning to supplement our electricity generator with a Solar PV system soon too." Steve and Julie Lichtenberg