Updated November 2014 – see bottom of the page…
The core of our house dates from the C17 with a major addition in the C18 and was recently Grade II listed. The listing is predominantly due to the “evolution of its plan from cottage to sophisticated house, seen in the context of regional and national types and its relation to other houses on the green”. We like to think of the sustainability features we have incorporated into our refurbishment project (which we know over time there have been many) as a further evolution!
Timber-framed double-glazed casement windows appropriate to the style of the house and its’ relation to other houses on The Green
Energy-saving light bulbs, including LEDs in recessed fittings
- Roof insulation 100mm Cellotex between, Tri-iso super 10 and rafter roll to fill any gaps
- Cavity wall insulation and 200mm Cellotex insulation on the flat roof of 1960s extension
- Pavadentro wood fibre insulation (for its’ breathability) in bay window areas where the walls are thinner.
- New dining room extension –200 mm polystyrene under floor insulation, 200 mm Cellotex roof insulation
Low Carbon Technology*
- Windhager BioWin Plus Klassik Wood Pellet Boiler
- Windhager SolarWin Solar hot water
- Thermostatically controlled radiator valves
Use of reclaimed materials
- Kitchen Flooring from Terminal 2 Heathrow airport
- Iroko school laboratory worktops used for kitchen work surfaces
- The 1960s hardwood staircase removed from hallway has all been reused to make kitchen work unit, and shelving unit in downstairs cloakroom
- Installation of low-flush toilets
- Hans Grohe restricted flow shower heads
Update November 2014
As memories of this year’s fantastic summer fade and winter kicks in, the heating bills will soon be racking up. So it’s good news that the government Renewable Heat Incentive scheme (trailed in the June edition of the village newsletter) has now been launched to help fund improvements to your home heating. HNLC still has low-interest loans available which means that you can invest in low carbon heating with very little cash needed up front and payments from the government for 7 years to follow.
We have a mid-terrace, 17th century ironstone house, which underwent a complete eco retrofit, including a substantial increase in insulation. The 30 year old G-rated oil boiler was replaced with a 26 kw Windhager Klassik wood pellet boiler, combined with solar hot water. This was the most effective solution for a larger property where complete air-tightness cannot be achieved. They are often located in a garage, but we chose to put ours in a utility room in the house. A big plus on this model is the 150kg hopper, which means we only need to fill the hopper once a week in the middle of winter. The boiler is either in summer mode or off between May and October, with the solar thermal panels providing most of the hot water during this time.
(There are a number of other less-industrial looking products on the market such as the Grant Vector, it will depend on the heating requirements of your house.)
The cost of the boiler and solar hot water equipment was financed with the help of a loan from Hook Norton Low Carbon – we took the view that our repayments would be subsidised by the RHI tariff.
In fact the payments to be received through RHI have now been calculated at £2400, annually for the next 7 years and are going to cover the whole capital costs of the equipment.
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the whole RHI application process was. HNLC organized a group deal for the required Green Deal Assessments and the EPC and the online application system for the RHI scheme was simple to use and calculated and scheduled my quarterly payments there and then.
In terms of running costs, wood pellets are currently costing between £260-290 a tonne. Since installation in October 2011, we have used 10.75 tonnes of pellets, which averages at a cost of about £ 985 per year. While we can’t compare running costs with oil directly, we know from friends with other households of a similar size, that the running costs are cheaper than oil systems.
The system is also a winner on the carbon reduction front. According to the Energy Performance Certificate for the house, the average household produces 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide heating, lighting and powering their homes, while our home now only produces 1.2 tonnes.