Detached solid brick 1990s bungalow.
Rosie and Bill live in a detached, traditionally built bungalow overlooking the Langford Lakes, a popular nature reserve. They are particularly satisfied with their new thermal water heating system and the introduction of solar panels has greatly reduced their energy consumption and energy bills! A rainwater harvesting system further illustrates their dedication to sustainable living, as well as several innovative eco gadgets including highly insulating honeycomb blinds and solar lights.View More Information
Rosie had no intention of moving into the traditionally built house which originally belonged to her father as she knew how unsustainable it was. Five years later, however, they are learning ‘to work with what is’ by reducing their reliance on oil, enhancing existing features and implementing fresh technologies. The couple have introduced a range of technological and lifestyle changes that have substantially increased their energy and water efficiency and will save and generate money in the long term.
Solar thermal water heating system
Installed in late 2011 the 850kw M2 system has 20-25 evacuated tubes with a 180 litre thermal cylinder and pressure tank. The system really showed its benefit last summer. The couple estimate that each year there is no need to use oil fired boiler from April onwards.
21 photovoltaic panels were installed by Solar Europe in the summer of 2011. As Rosie points out; ‘There was a good grant of 43.3 p per unit of electricity generated and also because we like being green!’ On average there is a payback of £250 a month. There is also no electricity bill and it is estimated that it will take about nine years to regain the costs in full.
The couple have a variety of innovative eco gadgets such as solar desk lights and Duette Honeycomb blinds from Thomas Sanderson which cleverly retain heat in the winter and yet keep the house cooler in the summer.
Double glazing and effective insulation
The property has traditional double glazing installed in 1991 when the bungalow was built. Solid brick walls mean that there was limited structural insulation opportunities. However, Rosie and Bill have insulated 270 mm in the loft and insulated the loft hatch as well as the pipe work in the house.
The couple have 2 large tanks with a cubic capacity of 200 gallons each to collect rainwater. Initially, these were for use in the garden, but they realised there were other uses for the water harvested and the tanks have now been plumbed into the bathrooms in order to flush the toilets etc.
As well as installing different technologies, the couple try to ensure that they live sustainably by; composting, recycling, buying organic and local food and reducing their use of the car. Their wood burner uses locally sourced timber offcuts.
Rosie and Bill are currently looking into expanding their energy efficiency measures through a heat recovery system for West Clyffe.