SuperHome Database

Aylesbury, Ringstead Way

House Summary

Colin White

House Type:
1977, link-detached

Carbon saving:
69% - SuperHomes Assessed  

Reported saving on bills:
45% on electricity, 30% on gas

Total invested:
£12,782 after grants

  • Sunpipe_Ringstead_Way
  • Solar PV ColinW SH

Measures installed:

  • Cavity Wall Insulation
  • Condensing boiler
  • Double Glazing
  • Draught-proofing
  • Loft Insulation
  • Low Energy Appliances
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Solar PV Panels
  • Solar Water Heating
  • Sunpipe
  • Water Saving Devices

Upcoming events

Early interest in Open Days encourages SuperHome owners to host more events. If you'd like to visit this property please contact the owner and let them know. SuperHomers are often happy to respond to questions about their refurbishment project by email between times. Please read ‘more on contacting this SuperHomer’ before you make contact.

What visitors are saying

"Very interesting discussion on the pros and cons of sun pipes, rainwater harvesting, recycling, solar thermal and various types of low carbon heating options...knowledgeable on a whole range of subjects including growing your own food and apple trees."

"The visit was very enjoyable. Colin was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and realistic about what he has done in his home and what he might do in the future. It was good to meet other people at various stages of their own personal journeys. All very encouraging and positive!"

"The sun tubes were great, and would solve and bad lighting situation we have at present."

"Having already invested in lots of insulation, double glazing, air tightness, and a heat pump it was good to be able to talk to like minded people about their experiences."

"Our Host was very enthusiastic, and welcomed us with an offer of tea and coffee. It was good to get a unbiased view of the various technologies used in the house."

"Very helpful inproviding information and answering questions."

"I shall use the information in connection with my role as a new Energy Champion, currently trying to work out how I can make a difference in my local community."

Personal story:

I studied geography and environmental studies for my degree in the 1980s and have had a deep sense of the need to treat our environment with the utmost respect ever since. I followed my first degree with a post graduate diploma in land resource planning – all about the earth’s resources and the need to husband them carefully. That led me into town and country planning and I have been a planner for nearly 25 years. Half of my career has been spent within an environmental organisation that seeks to conserve and enhance a really special place.

I have tried to lessen my own footprint on the planet as much as possible. This has flowed into mind washing my immediate family with environmental messages to such an extent that we now get nagged by our two sons if we inadvertently forget to switch something off! Our lives are not dictated by environmental issues; we just take them all for granted and act accordingly. We have one car and use public transport whenever we can. We’ve had an allotment for two years and grow fruit and vegetables at home. I’ve been making my own beer for 30 years, the kids walk to school, we try and holiday in this country, haven’t flown in years and recycle and compost virtually all of our waste.


Essentially to try to tread as lightly as possible on the earth. The driver has been environmental. We were often asked about payback periods after we had installed the solar panels and had to say that we had no idea as we had done the work for environmental reasons. Our house is like millions of others throughout the UK and, if we can do what we have done, many others could follow suit; it doesn’t lead to the house being uncomfortable in any way and outward appearances have not really changed that much.

Property background:

We moved into our house in October 2001. The house is joined to our next door neighbour’s garage on the north side. It’s brick built with a concrete tiled roof and has an area of tile hanging fixed to a block wall around the front and south side of the first floor. The walls are of cavity construction.

There is a separate sitting room, dining room and kitchen with a bathroom, shower room (which used to be a toilet) and a downstairs toilet (which used to be the outside meter cupboard). The garage is too narrow to fit even a modern car. A replacement car port means we can drive straight off on a winter morning without running the car to clear windows.

Key changes made:

Solar PV and Hot Water – huge savings on electricity and gas.
Sheep’s wool loft insulation/cavity wall insulation – keeping heat in.
Sun pipes – savings on electricity.
LEDs in kitchen – getting rid of 13 halogen bulbs, savings.
Purchase and use of electric car and bike – reduce emissions and get a little bit fitter.

Measures installed in detail:

  • Cavity wall insulation ( £269)
  • Gas condensing boiler and new radiators with TRVs throughout the house cost (£2,700)
  • Double glazed windows and doors
  • Front door has been draught stripped
  • Sheep’s wool loft insulation (batts) added on top of fibreglass already installed (£400)
  • Low energy appliances throughout
  • Low energy lighting
  • 2.16kWp Solar PV, 12 Sanyo 180W Sunstation panels with a Sunny Boy inverter  (£13,230) but we received a £6,480 demonstration programme grant
  • Solar hot water (2 FS16 flat plate collectors, supplied by Filsol) drain back tank and new hot water cylinder  (£2,782) Received £719 in grants towards this.
  • Three sun pipes (Monodraught) ( £600 total)
  • Water saving devices include three water butts used for garden, car washing and watering home grown produce
  • Environmentally friendly paint for decorating
  • The main measures cost a total of £19,981, less grants of £7,199 = £12,782
Benefits of work carried out:

Knowing that our electricity and gas demands are less than they would have been. We have saved about 45% on our electricity bills and 30% on our gas bills. Add to that the comfort of a warmer house in the winter and this means that our gas demand is even less. We are saving money this way and will also make money (though not a lot) through the FITs. It was great in the early days to see our electricity meter run backwards!

Favourite feature:

The sun pipe over our stairs. It’s simple but has made an amazing difference to the feel of a part of the house that had always been gloomy and poorly lit. Not having to put the light on at most times of the day is great and it’s so efficient it brings light in from not only the street light but also the moon.

Project update:

I am always looking to do something new. For example, I got an electric bike for my 11 mile commute to work in Chinnor. It wasn’t cheap but saved money when compared to the cost of running a car to work. As I now no longer work in Chinnor I don’t have the commute, though I still have (and use) the bike!

I have still not made progress on wood chip boilers but will continue to investigate this.

Our Red Mason Bees, excellent pollinators in the garden and at the allotment, have not had a good time in the last couple of years. Changes in weather seem to hit them hard – cold, wet and windy weather in particular seem to have dominated in the last couple of springs.

We have finally managed to get ourselves an electric car – absolute joy, and so cheap to drive!

Updated on 17/03/2020

Contact this homeowner

Assessment types

SuperHomes Assessed

A home that has been visited and assessed by us and confirmed as reaching the SuperHome standard, which demonstrates a 60% carbon saving.

Homeowner Reported

Information has been provided by the homeowner about their home and energy use prior to the installation of measures and following their installation which demonstrates a carbon saving. This information has not been verified.

Remote Assessed

The homeowner has provided information on their home including what measures have been installed which has enables an assessor working on our behalf to assess their carbon savings. This home has not been visited to verify the measures installed.


This home has not been assessed, but the homeowner has reported what measures have been installed. It may be that this home is awaiting assessment.