This event has now finished.
Just turn up limited parking outside number 4, lots of space in Helmeth Road. No dogs please (mini meadow).
Modern 4 bedroomed house built in 2004, which Geoff and Lorna bought in 2014.
A Hive smart thermostat was fitted shortly after moving in. The original windows and doors fitted with standard double glazing in softwood frames have been replaced with higher spec double glazing in uPVC frames. Along with greater thermal efficiency, these have much better draft sealing. Perfect Fit blinds fitted to ceiling and French doors in kitchen and small sitting room help with retaining heat in cooler months, and keeping it out in the summer!
The original gas Range cooker has been replaced with electric ovens and an induction hob. LED lights fitted in all living areas, garage and outside spaces.
The decorative gas fire with draughty external vents in the main sitting room has been replaced with an efficient, attractive balanced flue fire, which is used to supplement central heating, particularly in spring and autumn and if we are using the room during the day.
The gas boiler died in March 2020, and was replaced with an air source heat pump (ASHP) providing central heating and domestic hot water. The ASHP cost £10,535 although this will be recovered through the Ofgen RHI scheme. We are receiving quarterly payments, inflation linked, over a seven year period, resulting in a total repayment of around £11,500. The next step was to fit PV panels on the roof - 13 panels in total, 7 on one elevation, 6 on another. An Immersion Diverter diverts excess power into heating the hot water tank before exporting the excess to the grid.
After installation of the ASHP, our Energy Efficiency Rating (EPC) was reassessed to 79, a high C, with the advice that with a recommended 2.5kWp PV panels we could expect it to rise to 84. However we have been able to install 4.23 kWp PV panels, hence we would expect our current EPC to be nearer 87-88, ie a high B.
We have fitted an EV charger in the garage - neighbours know they are welcome to offer it to visiting EV car drivers. We currently run a plug-in hybrid car which works for our lifestyle, with the majority of journeys made within the range of the battery. A third option for the Immersion Diverter - diverting to a battery - is a future plan as and when the move is made to an electric car.
Work to turn the small back lawn into a mini meadow started on autumn 2020, with liberal application of yellow rattle seed. Although attractive, especially with the grasses blowing gently in the wind, it was rather unexciting in 2021. It was cut in August 2021, and more yellow rattle seed sown, along with donations from friends and other haymeadow projects. During June we are enjoying purple clover, lots of yellow rattle flowers, ribwort, a wider variety of grasses, a very small bedstraw, some fairy flax and emerging eyebright. Fingers crossed for some other wildflowers to appear by the end of the month.
We 'shop local' as much as possible for locally grown produce and UK-made goods. We are enjoying holidays in the UK, and plan to avoid air travel. A low meat diet has been our norm for many years.
This event has now finished.