SuperHome Database

Tyne and Wear, Whitley Bay, Paignton Avenue

House Summary

Neal McCay

House Type:
1926 Mid terrace

Carbon saving:
67% - SuperHomes Assessed  

Reported saving on bills:
At least 50%

Total invested:

  • woodstove_WhitleyBay

Measures installed:

  • Cavity Wall Insulation
  • Combi Boiler
  • Double Glazing
  • Energy monitor
  • Loft Insulation
  • Low Energy Appliances
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Solar PV Panels
  • Water Saving Devices
  • 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.

What visitors are saying

"Super. Very patient host who managed to forgive our delays (car wouldn't start Metro off etc.). Very heartening to see what could be done with an older house."

“Very useful info including on PV, roof insulation, wood burning stove, chimney balloon, daytime electric use et al.”

"Great to discuss with actual owner the value of PV and smaller adaptations for a greener life."

Personal story:

Neal is a retired Civil Engineer keen on minimising utility bills while not compromising comfort.  Of course any carbon reduction resulting could help but any contribution made in the UK pales into insignificance when you look at what’s happening world-wide with a continual increase in energy consumption and carbon output everywhere.


Selfish really, primarily I want to minimise my utility bills as far as possible with the secondary benefit of reducing my carbon output.

Property background:

The house was built in 1926 and I bought it in 2011. Their were no particular problems but the house had a poor standard of insulation and an old combi boiler.  In addition to this the house was drafty due to the open chimneys and fireplaces.

Key changes made:

Wood burning stove is wonderful in the winter and helps heat the whole house.  Watching the flames is a lot more interesting than most programmes on television!

Condensing boiler minimises gas use and the addition of the PV panels on the roof earn £1300 a year while my gas and electricity bills are only £600 per annum.

Measures installed in detail:

  • Cavity wall filled with Rockwool
  • WorcesterBosch combi condensing boiler (£1900), radiators fitted with TVRs
  • Double glazing throughout
  • Efergy Energy Monitor
  • Low energy appliances throughout
  • Low energy lighting throughout
  • 2.9kw photovoltaic array on roof (£10,000)
  • Water saving devices include a water meter
  • 4kw Morso DEFRA approved wood burning stove (£2345 installed)
  • Rockwool loft insulation self – installed to 280mm depth.
  • Chimney balloon – £18 well spent to reduce drafts completely on windy days
  • Thermostatic radiator valves
  • Reflective foil behind radiators
  • Single induction hob with large whistling kettle
Benefits of work carried out:

The house is now more comfortable and utility bills have been vastly reduced. Now I get a smug feeling from using electricity from the roof to run my house during the day and for a large part of the year.

Favourite feature:

Morso woodburning stove and the PV solar panels

Project update:

Now have over 4 years of solar panel generation records. Prior to installation the gov assessment formula estimated 1925kWh annually.
The actual annual average I have recorded is 2737KWh.

Just noticed that my Dec/Jan/Feb generation was the lowest of the last five years. Not much sun in the northeast this winter; 24% less than same period last year!

Updated on 09/03/2016

Common questions and answers for this SuperHome

Why did you go for a Morso wood stove?+

I went for the Morso (Squirrel 1412) after some internet research – based on the reputation of company, their experience over many years in Denmark and at that time not many manufacturers were able to supply Defra approved for use in smokeless zones. The stove was also appealing in that it is traditional cast iron rather than pressed steel. When the fire dies down cast iron keeps its heat for much longer than steel.

Why did you choose the 4kW model wood stove ?+

I choose the 4kw output based on the size of my room (the smallest stove they produce)  In actual use it heats the whole house somewhat with the room door left ajar.

Who installed your wood stove and would you recommend them?+

I bought it in 2011 from ‘Stangate Stoves and Cookers’ who are based in Lemington, Newcastle upon Tyne and it was installed by one of the contractors they recommended ‘Fire & Stove Solutions’ (Dave Anderson Mobile: 07891544740).  Yes I would recommend them.

How much do your pay for wood fuel and where do you store it?+

I get my wood from a mental health charity based in West Sleekburn, Northumberland – ‘The Woodfuel Centre’.  £85 per cubic metre of hardwood.  I use about 3 cubic metres per year.  Not that cheap but its sustainable! Clearly if you can get your own wood for free the running costs will be around zero! And watching the flames through the stove window is a lot more relaxing and entertaining than staring at the TV!

It is a terraced house with a passage way between so wood stores nicely there in a good through draft.

How much do your spend on gas and electricity?+

My current annual bill for gas and electricity should be about £570 on the Cooperative Energy tariff.

How much water do you use?+

I switched to a water meter on purchase of the house so don’t have a reduction cost but current useage about 42 cu metre annually.

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.