Royal Family spends £2.5m on energy bills a year

The Royal Family is estimated to spend £2.5m on energy bills a year: Here’s how it is attempting to make its estate more sustainable

  • It is estimated the royals are spending £2.5m on bills at ten of their properties 
  • The highest usage is at Buckingham Palace where costs are £1.1m  
  • This is despite attempts by the Queen to make her home more sustainable 

The Royal Family is spending £2.5million per year on energy bills at their ten best-known palaces and castles, new research has estimated.

Buckingham Palace, with its 775 rooms, 77,000 square metres of floor space and swimming pool, is estimated to be the most expensive royal residence in the UK, costing £1.1million a year to power.

Meanwhile, Windsor Castle has the next highest energy bill of £393,523, with Kensington Palace third at £260,448.

The royal family’s energy bill is estimated to reach £2.5m for 10 of their properties in the UK

The high cost is despite the Queen attempting to make her palaces more sustainable, with a network of 60 smart meters monitoring usage across the royal estate and more efficient LED lighting being trialed.

At Windsor Castle, the world’s oldest occupied castle, electricity bills are reduced by 40 per cent thanks to a hydroelectric power scheme on the River Thames.

This saves the royals about £262,349 a year, reducing them from a potential bill of £655,872.

There are also plans to make Balmoral Castle more sustainable, after winning permission for a 2MW hydroelectric turbine to generate £650,000 worth of power, with any surplus energy sent to the National Grid.

Balmoral already has one hydroelectric turbine, providing 100kW of power.

Prince Charles, who has campaigned on environmental issues for decades, has installed solar panels at Clarence House, uses low-energy light bulbs and has improved the insulation at his properties.

Property Area of property (sq m) Annual energy cost
1 Buckingham Palace 77,000 £1,127,942
2 Windsor Castle 44,965 £393,523
3 Kensington Palace 17,844 £260,448
4 St James’s Palace 16,482 £240,590
5 Palace of Holyroodhouse 11,000 £160,662
6 Balmoral Castle 8,160 £119,255
7 Sandringham House 8,068 £117,913
8 Hillsborough Castle 4,200 £61,518
9 Clarence House 3,524 £51,662
10 Frogmore Cottage 706 £10,575
Source: Uswitch     

Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan’s former home, Frogmore Cottage, had the lowest energy costs of the ten royal homes surveyed, estimated at £10,575.

They are believed to have installed a green energy unit when they lived there to provide eco-friendly heat, hot water and electricity. 

Sarah Broomfield, energy expert at Uswitch, said: ‘The Royal Family have gone to great lengths to make their palaces and castles more sustainable, but the age and size of these homes mean they still require a lot of energy to run.

‘Whatever type of home you live in, palace or not, there are lots of ways to keep our energy consumption down.

‘Turning off lights when you leave the room, turning off appliances at the plug when they’re not in use, and adding draught-proofing are small changes that can all add up to big savings on your energy bills.

‘Switching tariffs is another great way to keep those utility bills down. If you’re on a standard variable tariff, you can save money by switching, so it is always worthwhile doing a search online and comparing energy deals.’

The calculations are based on the assumption the properties are running on domestic tariffs. Uswitch worked out how much energy was needed for each property by the size and how much it would need to be heated.

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