SuperHome Database

Colchester, Nayland, Stoke Road

House Summary

Will Hitchcock

House Type:
120 year old Victorian red brick detached cottage

Carbon saving:
62% - SuperHomes Assessed  

Reported saving on bills:

Total invested:

  • Nayland, Stoke Rd
  • PV_Nayland_Stoke Rd
  • Solar PV – Nayland
  • Solar Thermal-PV-Nayland

Measures installed:

  • Draught-proofing
  • Floor Insulation
  • Internal Wall Insulation
  • Loft Insulation
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery
  • Solar PV Panels
  • Solar Water Heating
  • Wood Stove

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.

Personal story:

I am an IT manager and father of 2 children. My family and I live in a village in Suffolk and our house is dependant on oil for its heating and hot water. 7 years ago I took my first step into investing in energy efficiency by installing a solar hot water system. I was amazed how effective it was, annually producing about 60% of our hot water. This then led on to many other modifications and improvements to the home, with our biggest investment in the form of a 2.7kWp solar PV system. In addition to the work I have done to our home, I also have an allotment, chair the local Transition group, Transition Nayland and I am one of the founding Directors of Green Energy Nayland, a renewable energy cooperative.

Also, in Suffolk, the Suffolk County Council has an initiative called the Green Buildings Network, of which I am a member.


I have always been environmentally and energy aware.  Coming from a farming family and then going on to study Engineering, the logic of using less and being more efficient is obvious and clearly vital for the future of humanity. Climate change, resource depletion and degradation of the natural environment are massive concerns for me and my family.

Property background:

We purchased this 120 year old Victorian red brick detached cottage in July 2002.

Key changes made:

Reduce energy consumption – Insulate and draught proof
Ventilate – Mechanical ventilation, soon to be with heat recovery
Produce own energy – Solar PV, Solar Thermal and wood burner

Measures installed in detail:

  • Air-to-air Heat Pump
  • Solar PV
  • Solar Thermal
  • Whole house ventilation system
  • Double sided woodburner
  • Breathable spray foam insulation in loft
  • Double glazing
  • Underfloor insulation
  • Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery system
  • LED and low energy lighting throughout
  • Composite insulated front door
  • Internal wall insulation throughout
Benefits of work carried out:

Installing double glazing and the wood burning stove in our house was a no brainer.

The solar thermal panels are good and we have found that if you alter your behaviour as well then you can get more value out of this. Tank size is as important as array size to ensure optimum energy return.

The PV panels are also great, my 4 year’s generation has exceeded my expectations – just make sure you seek out those green incentives to help with the costs.

Other measures we have found work well are the low energy lighting and appliances. LED lights are now viable options and our eco kettle is great.

The Mechanical Ventilation system is a vital addition to our house even though it doesn’t directly save on CO2. It does keep our house fresh, cool in summer, gets rid of damp and takes dirt out of the air.

Favourite feature:

Installed a Daikin air-to-air Heat Pump which heats our family dining area, often using the solar generated electrcity. Its fantastic!

Project update:

I have recently installed a Daikin Air-to-Air Heat Pump in our family dining area. This area never really got the warmth of the woodburner to it, so was always a little cold. This new Heat Pump has transfored the room and has an annual CoP of 4.2, meaning it is highly energy efficient and is an excellent way of utilising my solar electricity to heat my home.

Updated on 09/02/2014

Common questions and answers for this SuperHome

Who fitted your Nuaire MVHR system and are you happy with it?+

I fitted the Nuaire system myself with a mate and used the Polypipe (Domus) radial duct system with it. To my knowledge its the first time a Nuaire system has been installed with the radial system, and it seems to work well. I used the radial system as it makes the retro fit far easier, especially the duct runs between floors. I chose Nuaire because of its summer bypass feature which can be manually activated (a must in my house which overheats in the summer), its low energy EC motor and its excellent heat recovery rate, its also very quiet.

I am really pleased with the heat recovery performance, I have installed wireless temp and humidity sensors in the extract and supply manifolds to see how much heat is being recovered, the results are impressive. I also made my own balancing tool out of an aviation anemometer, it works well.

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.