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The UK's most energy-efficient period properties throw open their doors

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 11 September 2013 at 11:01 am

If you’re considering refurbishing your energy-guzzling period property to make it run more efficiently then here’s a chance to see how others have done it first.

SuperHomes Open Days is a countrywide open house scheme where owners of 54 older, retrofitted homes throw open their doors to show how it’s done.

Among the myriad of inspirational houses taking part are:

A four-storey, 1870s east London townhouse where internal and external solid-wall insulation, additional loft insulation, underfloor heating and secondary glazing have seen a 50 per cent reduction in gas bills.

A 1978 detached bungalow in Norfolk where double glazing and cavity wall and loft insulation coupled with the installation of a Kingspan solar thermal system, a 7.5kWp solar PV system, a 16b Charnwood bio boiler and low energy lighting throughout has slashed bills by 70 per cent and creating an impressive 92 per cent carbon saving.

A Regency 1835, Grade II listed semi in Leamington Spa where a 69 per cent carbon saving was achieved using secondary double glazing, internal wall, floor and loft insulation, solar PV panels and two wood burning stoves.

The free-to-attend open days are a great chance to chat to truly independent people about their experience using their triumphs – and possible disasters – to inspire your own plans. Their experiences, coupled with their detailed information about the measures installed, the costs involved and the savings made will be invaluable for anyone planning a retrofit of their own.

Most open days will coincide with Heritage Open Days (Sept 12-15) and Open House London (Sept 21-22). Find a SuperHome Open Day near you by visiting the SuperHome website and using their postcode related search tool.

SuperHomes is a growing network retrofitted period homes where eco-friendly, sustainable, low energy and low carbon refurbishments have made them at least 60 per cent less reliant on fossil fuels. There are currently 171 homes in the network and all can be seen on the SuperHomes site. 

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

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2 comments - read them below or add one

Tasha Kosviner

Tasha KosvinerComment left on: 12 September 2013 at 10:55 am

Thanks for your comments TinaF - I hope your open house is a success. 

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TinaFComment left on: 12 September 2013 at 10:08 am

I am a Superhome owner who is opening their home this weekend - so delighted you are giving this event some publicity.

I am also an academic researcher, and with a colleague have just completed survey and interview work with Superhome owners. Many fascinating things have emerged - not the least the diversity of ways in which people do low energy renovation - it can be anything from a highly planned renovation, done by professionals, completed in months to something which develops organically over many years and involves a lot of DIY and help from friends and family. Superhome owners also have a very wide income range, and have funded their retrofits in many different ways - it is far from being the case that you can only achieve this standard of retrofit if you are wealthy. There is a shared concern about climate change motivating people, but also other motivations around increasing comfort, improving health, reducing waste, reducing energy bills and having a better quality of life.

In summary, there are lots of different Superhome stories and experiences out there and I urge you to visit one if you can!


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