Just turn up
Another 4 bed detached house built by Shropshire homes in 2005 with LED lighting throughout and induction hob replacing the original gas one. An 12kW air source heat pump (ASHP) has replaced the gas boiler but here the householder has himself installed underfloor heating (UFH), separated into 5 controlled zones with upgraded radiators upstairs. The floor was then re-levelled, skirting replaced and ceramic floor tiles laid. Total cost £9875. The heat pump, and associated improvements was installed by EnergyZone at a cost of £12,300 and was eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive which will over 7 years generate an income of £7,959.
The installation of UFH and the ASHP in 2020 coincided with the previous gas boiler becoming increasingly unreliable and ground floor carpets needing replacement with a more suitable hard surface. The UFH keeps the house at a more even temperature and is inherently a very comfortable form of heating; its installation cost was reduced by doing this as a DIY project during lockdown although the project was inherently disruptive and required careful planning. You can read a full Case Study of the UFH. They find the induction hob to be a very fast, easily controlled, safe and clean method of cooking. The log burner is a very effective way of heating the house if the ASHP is not available, but we only use it very occasionally, usually for effect rather than out of necessity.
Claire and Mark made these changes to reduce their carbon output and dependency on fossil fuels rather than try and reduce running costs.
A 3.85 kW PV system installed at a cost of £13,950 in 2011 generates an average of 3240 kW annually. Though expensive at the time, the then generous Feed In Tariffs are making £1,880 pa, £17,975 to date so will more than cover the cost.
Despite the high initial cost, installing PV made sound economic sense given the high FIT available at the time and it has indeed proved reliable and a good investment. Until they switched their heating and cooking from gas to electricity, the PV panels generated more than sufficient electricity to meet average consumption – they were net exporters of electrical energy. Since November 2020 they rely on electricity for heating and cooking, so use much more electrical energy and are net importers but the PV system reduces the amount imported. They still export approximately 2/3 of generated electricity and are considering ways of making better use of this energy.
Future plans include changing to an EV once our present car reaches the end of its life, which will require installation of an EV charger in the garage, and probably also smart control of the PV system.
See separate attachment for heating figures etc.