Extensive renovation with low-cost and DIY features that puts environment at the heart of the home. Utility bills have been reduced to an enviable £30 a month; features include PV, solar thermal and 9kW wood burning stove, sheep’s wool insulation, insulated bath.
Open: 22nd & 28th September
Suzie and Ian say, “In 2006 we moved into a home with aluminium framed double-glazed windows, minimal insulation and an old gas fire with boiler. We are both very passionate about the environment and love that our home is now an expression of this. We sometimes put our ideology before our finances or convenience but are happy about this. Now our utility bills are only £40 a month, yet our home is warm and snug, with a close connection between the house, garden and seasons. This is about 1/3 national average’
We drew up a five-year plan. The major eco work so far has been installing the hot water and heating system – adding solar thermal hot water and a 9kW wood-burning stove which supplies hot water for taps and central heating.
We had ourselves cut off gas when this was installed. We are constantly improving our firewood processing making the most of all the wood and the ‘sawdust waste’, as well as improving storage. At the same time, installing a highly insulated Akvaterm hot water tank, designed to be heated by wood and sun, or electricity if we are desperate.
We had the cavity walls insulated, and we did the loft insulation ourselves with 150 mm of British sheep’s wool, on top of the 150mm of yellow itchy insulation already in situ. We also insulated under the bath (re-using coats and pillows) – so now we can have a good long soak in the bath because the water stays warm for ages!”
- High levels of insulation throughout
- Solar thermal and wood-burning stove for heating and hot water
- Solar PV system
- Sheds with green roofs, fruit and veg garden