1930s semi-detached house, 3 bedrooms
Matthew and his family have lived in the traditionally built 1930s property since 1993. Over time the family have made a number of improvements to the house including a solar thermal system and passive solar gain. This year Matthew had a new solar PV system with deep cycle storage batteries installed which is already proving to be extremely efficient and saving money!View More Information
As a Design & Technology teacher, Matthew has researched energy efficiency and home adaptations and, with rising energy costs, wanted to ensure that he installed long term, cost- effective solutions for the family home. The majority of windows in the property are double glazed, but the construction and orientation of the house meant that cavity wall insulation might have proved problematic. The Berrys have insulated internal areas such as the loft and have concentrated on energy generation.
Installed in February 2013, the system has 16 panels (max 4kw). The installation by Urban Energy took ten days, due to very poor weather, and cost approximately £10,500. The system should pay for itself in 12 years, if not less.
Connected to the solar PV panels by a Power Router, the system includes 2 x 12v/220 AL Gel Deep Cycle batteries which are never under 50% charging capacity. This allows the Berrys to maintain a constant source of internal power generation, effectively allowing them to be off grid for at least several hours a day. The batteries are both energy efficient and small, with an easy access location in the garage next to the house.
The house has gas heating and two open coal fires. In 2007, Matthew invested in a one panel solar thermal system which provides much of the family’s needs.
Passive Solar Gain
An important feature of the property is the double glazed south facing conservatory, which also benefits the adjoining reception room. The conservatory is so efficient that the electronic thermometer registered 24 degrees on Xmas Day!
Low Energy Lighting
The property is about 70% lit by low energy (CFL) bulbs.
The Berrys are aiming to reduce their reliance on the energy companies and their impact on the environment, where possible. Matthew cycles to work in Salisbury every day.
While the majority of the house is double glazed, the front door is not. Matthew is looking into a solution that respects the character of the property.