SuperHome Database

Lewes, South Street, Wille Cottages

House Summary

Jill Goulder
House Type:
1898 Victorian terraced cottage
Carbon saving:
61% - SuperHomes Assessed  
Lewes Eco Open Houses

Measures installed:

  • Cavity Wall Insulation
  • Condensing boiler
  • Double Glazing
  • Draught-proofing
  • Floor Insulation
  • Loft Insulation
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Roof Insulation
  • Secondary glazing
  • Solar PV Panels
  • Sunpipe
  • Water Saving Devices

  • magnetic strip glazing – JG – SuperHomes
  • Jill_Goulder_Solar_Panels

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

"Excellent idea and incredibly inspiring, a fabulous illustration that homes can be both eco and beautiful! Thank you!"

Personal story:

Wille Cottages were built in 1898, a small brick terrace on the edge of the Lewes Conservation Area. I moved in in April 2010 after major structural and renovation work; the house now has two bedrooms and an open-plan ground floor including a small conservatory extension replacing a plastic corrugated roof; the total floor area is around 75 sq.m.


My aim was to create a sturdy, future-proofed house that would require little short-term maintenance and would keep energy use down, while retaining its general character. I’m self-employed and work from home so it’s important to me that my house is comfortable and inexpensive to run. The previous owners had a very different electricity and gas usage pattern (they had a modern gas boiler, but had three small boys!) so comparison isn’t exact, but my gas utilisation is about half of theirs and my electricity utilisation less than a third – and now that I’ve installed lithium storage batteries for my solar PV, I shall be almost off-grid. See my website for much more detail about what I’ve done. I’m also pleased to be part of the Lewes Eco House Open Weekend (

Also see:
Measures installed in detail:

  • All new windows double-glazed and with additional magnetic-strip secondary glazing: see
  • All existing windows draught-stripped and fitted with magnetic-strip secondary glazing
  • Cavity wall insulation where cavity existed in front wall
  • Insulation installed under whole ground floor
  • Ceiling insulation installed between floors
  • Front door draught-stripped
  • Chimney Sheep in chimneys to stop heat loss
  • New condensing boiler with high spec
  • All lightbulbs replaced with LED
  • 1.29 kWp Photovoltaic panels generating c.1350kWh/year
  • Lithium storage batteries linked to solar PV – see
  • Solatube installed in attic
  • Thermal plasterboard in north-facing room
  • ‘Water Imp’ water conditioner on water-pipe to prevent limescale build-up and reduce heating bills
  • Loo flush reducers, 3 water-butts
  • More details on these and other house features, with factsheets on magnetic-strip secondary glazing and LED lighting, including suppliers and costs, at
Benefits of work carried out:

I’ve had 6 photovoltaic solar panels installed (8.3m2), giving a rating of 1.29kwp. The estimated annual output was 1089kw/h, but I’m consistently achieving around 22% over that. As a guide, on a grey day in winter I generate 1kw/h and on a blazing day in high summer I may reach 10kw/h. As well as the Feed-In Tariff benefits, I’ve been able to add the money that I don’t pay for electricity while the sun is shining. I’ve now installed lithium storage batteries linking with the solar PV panels, so I’ll also be getting free electricity at night – and can continue to run my house normally for some hours in the case of mains power outages. A very nice feeling! 🙂
As for the rest of the refurbishments, the result is a warm house which retains heat wonderfully without visually-obtrusive insulation features.

Favourite feature:

A lot of my open-day visitors ask immediately to see the magnetic-strip secondary glazing, using acrylic. I really love it! See my FAQ sheet about it on, and my NEW video about it at It’s unobtrusive and totally easy to put on and take off. I had it in my old house, and after 15 years or more it still looked pristine. It’s a fraction of the cost of full traditional double-glazing, and is paying back not only in lower bills but in NO DRAUGHTS – and it provides very good sound insulation too.
My other favourite is my LED lighting, which is now cheap, beautiful and widely-available. Once I did the sums it seemed completely mad not to switch over all my bulbs immediately, especially for the GU10 halogen lights. It immediately starts saving you money and will carry on saving you a lot of money, way exceeding the investment. It costs £10/ year on your electricity bill to run a single halogen downlighter bulb for 4 hours a day, and they need replacing every couple of years. It costs c.£1/ year to run an LED downlighter bulb ditto, and it will last up to 20 years. So:
Year 1:
~ Halogen: £1 for bulb, £10 for electricity = £11
~ LED: £5 for bulb, £1 for electricity = £6
Year 2:
~ Halogen: £10 for electricity
~ LED: £1 for electricity
Year 3:
~ Halogen: £1 for bulb, £10 for electricity = £11
~ LED: £1 for electricity
etc etc. Really a no-brainer! See my LED factsheet on for a beginner’s guide to the mass of different types of LED bulb available and how to choose one.
And finally, I love my Chimney Sheep (from and made of Herdwick sheep wool) to stop heat loss up my chimney when my fire isn’t lit.

Project update:

This is a general update for my eco-house. As reported before, I now have a Victron EcoMulti lithium battery storage system linked to my solar PV array: see; it’s maintained by the very helpful Sunstore in Worthing ( Now most of my electricity at night comes from stored solar power, and if there’s a power outage I can run the basics in my (low-energy) house for several hours. For techies, it’s 24 volts, 3000-watt inverter, 70-amp battery charger; it cost £4,200; it’s a blue box on the attic wall next to my solar PV inverter, with a cable down to my junction box. You’ll need to read Victron’s data to understand how it works, but basically it shifts seamlessly as needed. I know I won’t get payback unless I live to a great age, as my electricity bills are low already, but I’m fairly safe in an outage and I love the idea of using all my own solar power. 🙂 🙂
Meanwhile, I’ve now had more than 5,000 hits on my video about the advantages of magnetic-strip secondary glazing:, and some very nice comments from grateful viewers :-).
Finally, I’ve just updated my FAQ page on my website about LED lighting, which is now a no-brainer in terms of value for money: LED lighting used to be a bit clunky, but the range, style and cost of LED has improved enormously – including the tone of the light emitted, which used to be an issue. I’ve noticed that the price of CFL bulbs (the old spiral-tube bulbs) has crept up to equal the lowering LED bulb prices, perhaps because suppliers are going LED, and the LED and halogen prices are converging steadily, so there’s now absolutely no excuse not to switch.

Updated on 11/05/2016

Common questions and answers for this SuperHome

What persuaded you to buy the lithium battery for your solar PV?+

I installed the storage system because I had a legacy when my mother died and it seemed the right thing to do for the environment – and would provide some emergency power in a mains outage, which solar PV alone can’t do, as you know.

Another SuperHomer in Lewes, Nick Rouse, instead invested in an electric car, which in many senses cleverly does the same job.

What installer did you use for your lithium battery for the solar PV?+

The original installers are no longer operating, but my system is now being maintained by Sunstore in Worthing.

Does using lithium battery storage for solar PV impact your Feed-in Tariff?+

Installation of the system won’t trigger a reduction in your Feed-in Tariff rate, though of course who knows what the government will do in future. I notice that Good Energy, my mains energy supplier, have increased their standing charge and reduced the per-unit rate for all customers, which is bad news for solar PV and storage-battery owners! but I see that they have to cover their costs in a changing situation.

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.