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Find out what it's like to live in an energy efficient home this weekend

Posted by NicoleYouGen on 15 March 2013 at 10:16 am

The owners of energy saving homes throw open the doors to the public from tomorrow as part of SuperHomes week (from 16-24 March 2013). This is your chance to see eco renovation at its best as pioneering owners offer tours of their homes. Admission is free and, wherever you live, there is probably a SuperHome near you.

SuperHomes are owned by a diverse range of people, and are achieved in a variety of ways. Some people make incremental changes to the efficiency of their homes for years, or decades, as this story tells, saving energy from each new measure along the way.       

Others install a wide range of energy efficiency measures in one major retrofit project. An example of this is Chelsfield House in Bath where the architect Nick Sandy has transformed the original 1960s house, doubling its size in the process, and halving the energy bills.

"We decided to make Chelsfield House an energy efficient home firstly because we wanted to have as low a running cost as possible, and if we achieved this we would also do our bit on pollution," he says. "We are paying around £30/40 a week for gas & electric, which is half what we are paying before the refurbishment. Now we have the heating on 24 hours a day." Previously it was on for just  5 to 6 hours a day.

Nick set out the plan for the remodelling of Chelsfield House and lead the design for both interior and exterior. He undertook all the project management, specification, bought materials and employed the contractors and sub-contractors.  They lived on site through out the whole project.

Asked what his favourit bits are, Nick says: "The whole house runs like clockwork, it is the most fabulous house to live in, its home automation system is just a joy. The rain water harvester works well, especially in Bath with its very hard water, it stops all the lime scale in the washing machines and WC. The heat recovery is especially good when I enjoy a cigar after work with a glass of red as within two hours all the smell has gone, plus it keeps all the cost down being 96% efficient

Whether you're thinking of a grand design, or just want to make some small improvements to the energy efficiency (and comfort) or your home, SuperHomes week is a great opportunity to see measures installed, and to ask the owners how effective they are in real life.

Click here to search for an open home near you. Chelsfield House is open on 23 and 24 March 2013.

Help getting started with energy efficiency on YouGen

Introduction to energy efficiency

Making your house more energy efficient: where do we start?

7 easy wins to improve your home's energy efficiency

How to quantify the value of energy saving improvements

Find the best options for improving the energy efficiency of your home

Photos: Chelsfield House,

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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