My parents had PV and I feel I have a fairly good knowledge of the basic principles of green retrofitting even though I’m not an engineer, I’m a complete dabbler…I love the technology element of it. I have had experience of living in solid walled properties which were impossible to heat to a comfortable temperature.
The main motivation for me is definitely wanting to have a green house and not wanting to wreck the environment. Saving money on energy bills is not really a reason for me as I could have made more money investing capital elsewhere; I just wanted to save as much energy as possible.
This semi-detached property was built in the 1930s and includes a cellar and a modern extension to the rear. After actively seeking a property which could be environmentally retrofitted, I purchased this house in 2011 – with the intention of refurbishing it – and moved in to the house in 2012.
A major part of the retrofit was to increase the heat retaining ability of the house which involved installing insulation in cavity walls, under floors and in the loft and also putting in double glazing. The renewable energy technologies installed included PV, solar thermal and a wood stove. Other energy saving measures include the use of low energy lighting.
• Cavity wall insulation using Polyurethane injected foam
• Condensing boiler with thermostatic controls, fan coil radiators operate at low temperatures
• New double glazing to kitchen, bathroom, sitting room and two bedrooms (Pilkington k)
• Underfloor insulation in extension, hall and sitting room. Rockwool insulation between the joists under the floor
• Loft insulation using Rockwool
• Low energy lighting
• 2.5 kWp Photovoltaic system added
• 5 Evacuated solar thermal tube panels (4.5kWp) added for hot water and heating contribution Including 1000 litre heat store and fan coil radiators (to operate at lower temperatures). Solar has approx max 4.5kw output (gas boiler used for back up)
• Wood burning stove
Although I am already quite energy conscious I have been able to improve on that even further by relocating thermostatic controls for fan assisted radiators to promote only heating rooms when they are occupied. Even though the system would work fine without my adjustments, it uses less energy this way.
The reduction in energy consumption is as expected even though the system is not complete.