£320k payback for Essex Country House


This country house is a listed building set in a North Essex village. Dating back to the 16th century, the property presented a range of challenges when it came to updating its ageing heating and hot water system, not least of all reducing the average annual fuel bill, which was over £20,000.

The property, currently divided into two separate residences, was reliant on an inefficient oil-fired commercial boiler for decades, which meant fuel bills could spiral with increases in oil prices, or long cold winters. Combined with a property that had poor levels of insulation, it was imperative to integrate a more efficient and cost effective heating system as soon as possible.

In addition, there was the opportunity to install a new renewable heating system under the Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), so ensuring the products were eligible was essential.


After a consultation with Bentley Fire Shop’s heating engineers, a system design encompassing two E-Classic 2400 boilers was produced, along with an installation schedule that would limit disruption to both residences.

Prior to the installation, the property owners created a dedicated area to site the boilers, situated on a concrete base 35 metres away from the main house. In addition, two adjacent wood houses were erected to store the logs, as well as provide quick and easy refuelling. The E-Classic boilers were connected directly into the existing heating system via thermo-insulated PEX pipe and plate heat exchangers. Installation into the existing heating system was achieved using a single phase electric supply, with minimum alterations to the property and without the need for an accumulator/ buffer tank.

Fuel Supply:

With the house situated in extensive grounds, the owners have a regular supply of logs to fuel the boilers. This has allowed them to become completely self-sufficient, heating their property at no additional cost.

Post Installation:

Since the boilers were installed in 2011, they have been in daily use, providing clean, efficient and reliable heating and hot water to the country houses’s two residences. Bentley Fire Shop assisted with the RHI application to ensure the property owners received the financial support available for the renewable heat technology.

As a registered commercial installation, the owners receive quarterly payments under the Non Domestic RHI – equating to an annual income of £16,000 and a total payback of approximately £320,000 (excluding fuel savings) over the term of the RHI.