SuperHome Database

Flintshire, Deeside, Hawarden, Wood Lane

House Summary

Paul Martin

House Type:
1960’s Three-bedroom semi-detached

Carbon saving:
64% - Remote Assessed  

Reported saving on bills:

Total invested:

  • boiler
  • controls 2
  • trvs

Measures installed:

  • Condensing boiler
  • Double Glazing
  • Loft Insulation
  • Low Energy Appliances
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Roof Insulation
  • Solar PV Panels
  • 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.

Personal story:

I am Paul Martin, an environmentalist and writer from Flintshire in North Wales. In 2008, after a 20-year career in the aerospace industry, I decided to follow my life-long interest and study a BSc Environmental Studies and a Diploma in Environmental Policy with the Open University. I also took on volunteer roles with environmental organisations before going on to study a practical writing course. During and since my studies I have been striving to achieve a low, and eventually zero-carbon lifestyle. I now spend my time encouraging others to live an environmentally responsible life, through writing articles and guest blogs about my experiences.

My knowledge of both the environment and engineering lead me to be optimistic about the technologies that are going to help us to mitigate and adapt to climate change.


Having studied the science of climate change I have been made aware of the challenges we face in mitigating its worst effects. None more so than the urgency in which we must act to reduce carbon emissions as individuals, society, nations and globally. The excesses of human activity are now putting an unprecedented strain on the Earth’s natural systems, which is beginning to affect both human and non-human populations. This generation must protect biodiversity and ecosystems for future generations to enjoy as we have, and that is my main motivation for action.

Property background:

1960’s Three-bedroom semi-detached house with a flat roof extension to the rear. I purchased the property in 1995 and it had an old gas central heating system (probably 1970s), original wiring and double-glazing from the 1980s. I began renovating it extensively in 2004 to improve the fabric of the building and modernize the interior.

Key changes made:

Improvements made were; a new roof on the extension; new gutters and soffits; a full re-wiring; new gas central heating (boiler and radiators); loft and cavity wall insulation and draught-proofing; LED lighting and the photovoltaic system; new double glazing; and planted 14 trees and a pollinator garden in the surrounding grounds of my property, to both absorb CO2 and improve biodiversity. I have also replaced a concrete driveway with a totally permeable resin-gravel system to improve urban drainage, and similarly removed concrete paths in the garden and replaced with grass. A water butt also collects water from the house roof. I also drive an electric car, reducing my travel emissions too.

  • New 90%+ efficient gas condensing boiler
  • New A+ rated argon-filled, low-emissivity double-glazing
  • LED lighting
  • Loft insulation
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Draught-proofing
  • 1.8 kWp solar photovoltaic roof-top array

Full details of measures installed

Space and water heating

In 2005, before consciously reducing my carbon footprint, I replaced an old inefficient boiler with a 90% + efficient gas condensing boiler, which provides the Space and water heating. In 2009 I began installing the first carbon-reducing measures to reduce heat loss through the building fabric, such as loft and cavity wall insulation and sealing up areas where air was escaping when it was not meant to, gaps under skirting boards for example. In 2014, the windows were replaced with A-rated argon filled, low emissivity double-glazed units, keeping heat in and maximising passive solar gain.

Gas and water consumption were reduced by installing a reduced flow head on the shower; low-flow gadgets on some taps; and hippo’s in dual flush toilet cisterns. Further reductions were made through behavioural changes like the use of a shower timer; showers preferred to baths; and using a dishwasher on the eco setting, rather than filling a sink, and water from a water butt is used in the garden.

Electricity consumption

Firstly, I used an energy monitor to see where savings could be made. Then, I installed LED bulbs throughout the house which reduced electrical consumption by 550 kilowatt hours per year. Other reductions have been achieved through using an eco-kettle and a slow-cooker, and upgrading some old inefficient appliances with new A-rated ones, such as replacing an LCD TV with an LED TV and upgrading my desktop PC to a laptop. And, of course, no appliance is EVER left on standby!

In November 2012, I had a 1.8 kWp (KiloWatt Peak) solar photovoltaic system installed on the roof of the house. On average, this generates around 1600 kWh of electricity annually, around a quarter of which is used directly at home reducing my consumption from the grid by 400 kWh. The remaining generation supplied to the grid exceeds my consumption from it, reducing emissions from my electricity use to net zero and the exported electricity saves a further 200 kg of CO2 from the grid. These figures are for household electricity and don’t account for the electricity used for the electric car, which I treat separately as travel fuel. In addition, my grid electricity is supplied by a 100% renewable generator.

Measures installed in detail:

  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Condensing boiler
  • Double glazing
  • Draught-proofing
  • Low energy lighting
  • Loft insulation
  • Roof insulation
  • Solar photo-voltaic roof-top array
  • Water saving devices
  • Low-energy appliances
Benefits of work carried out:

The combined effect of the measures taken for space and water heating has seen a reduction in gas consumption of 70% compared to my 1998 baseline year, and using a five-year mean value from 2011 – 2015 which averages out winter weather conditions. This equates to 2.3 tonnes of CO2 saved each year, and my water consumption over the period has halved. Electrical efficiency and installing solar power has saved 1.1 tonnes of CO2 per year from household electricity use, a reduction of 120%.

In 1998, before any improvements had been made, my household carbon emissions from space and water heating and electricity use totalled 4.2 tonnes per year. In 2016, this had been reduced by 3.4 tonnes to just 0.8 tonnes per year, an 81% reduction. My home now has an energy performance rating of B, the highest possible for my type of property.

Favourite feature:

The solar panels are by far my favourite feature. It is just so satisfying to know that during the day the sun is providing my energy needs, not dirty, polluting, life-limiting fossil fuels.

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.