1860s Victorian terraced house with three bedrooms.
Angela freely acknowledges that her house is ‘a work in progress’ but since moving in five years ago, she has introduced many energy saving measures including predominantly LED lighting throughout the house. Solar PV provides off grid power and outside, the expert food/garden waste anaerobic digester which produces fertiliser and gas to cook on also provides some greenhouse heat. Indoors, the Clearview wood burning stove heats the house.View More Information
This traditional Victorian brick property is on three floors, and its solid and cavity wall construction offered limited, expensive insulation opportunities. As Angela says; ‘When I moved in, the garden was a mess and the drains needed sorting out as a priority. Inside the loft insulation is minimal, the cavity and solid walls are not insulated and I suspect dormer insulation is thin: 50mm fullface polyurethane Kingspan equivalent on parts of the upper floor. The water pipes are not insulated, and neither are the floors.’ The inefficient double glazing was installed by a previous owner, so Angela has draught proofed where she can and concentrated on transforming the garden first and energy generation was top of her list. Angela is hoping to be able to upgrade the insulation using natural sheepswool in due course.
The domestic scale anaerobic digester, a 200 litre BioGastronome, converts food and garden/organic waste to fertiliser and methane, supplying Angela with a constant source of gas. Situated in her garden the system cost about £2,800 to install. Angela is actually a leading consultant on anaerobic digestion and her article; 'Review of Anaerobic Digestion Plants on UK Farms' (published by the Royal Agricultural Society of England) has had 30,000 downloads!! For further information see here.
Solar PV off-grid
The shed is fitted with two 280 Watt solar PV panels. This is an off-grid system which supplies the garden lighting and runs the anaerobic digester via a battery. At the moment therefore Angela does not receive any government incentives. Her intention is to acquire an inverter and use the electricity in the house as well as the garden. Exasperated by a lack of independent advice, Angela gave up on professionals due to cost and poor quality work. Instead, she hired in a builder and together they did the work between them.
There is CFL and LED lighting throughout the property.
Wood burning stove
Angela’s Clearview wood burner is judged to be one of the best in the world. A particularly useful feature is the revolving fan on the top of the unit which distributes heat around evenly. The fan is powered by a Peltier effect unit which uses the heat from the stove to make electricity to power the fan.
Green sedum roof on shed
The shed which was constructed using a host of reclaimed materials has a green sedum (living) roof, cleverly grown using redundant pub carpets and garden cast-offs from neighbours.
Angela has not only instigated changes in and outside her property she also tries to reduce her food miles, walk and cycle where possible and recycle.
Angela has a long list of further work to be done, including external insulation, further rain water storage at the back, installation of secondary doors, floor insulation, completion of the double glazing, and a hot water tank supplemented by solar thermal in the upstairs bathroom, so she can dry clothes and have hot water. She has a water meter on order.