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How a car fanatic transformed his 1960s home for greater efficiency

Posted by NEF Gabby on 22 September 2016 at 2:05 pm

You might think that the worlds of fast cars and home refurbishment are miles apart, but aerospace engineer and motorsports fan Lukas Willcocks sees a focus on high performance in common.

Getting more ‘miles per gallon’ out of your home

Like in the automotive industry, energy efficiency is at the centre of aerospace design and engineering, where fuel savings are always on the customer’s wish list. Lukas has taken these same fundamentals and applied them to his home.

Lukas bought the house back in 2000 and it came with a variety of faults. In a family tradition where being hands-on and fixing things is encouraged, Lukas saw the inherited problems as opportunities to go green. The problems included a broken boiler, rotten soffits and damp issues.  

Growing up in Botswana, a country vulnerable to water scarcity, Lukas knows the true value of a reliable supply. This inspired him to become more efficient and install a 300 litre thermal store that is now the heart of the home. A thermal store is essentially a well-insulated accumulator water tank that provides the perfect solution to a home’s heating and hot water requirements. With solar thermal panels, a smokeless fuel wood burner and new condensing boiler as heat sources, Lukas enjoys complete flexibility.

Photo: ACE Solar Nottingham installing the solar thermal panels that heat the thermal water store

Other energy efficient measures installed include cavity wall insulation, draught-proofing, LED lighting, low water content radiators, underfloor heating and a 3.91kWp solar PV system (17 panels) with an inverter.
Lukas’ solar PV system was installed when the government’s feed-in-tariff rates were at their most generous, providing him with a great financial payback to his £12,000 investment.

Lukas says finely tuning his home through efficiency measures has given greater thermal comfort throughout, significantly reduced his electricity and gas bills, and achieved a superb 85% carbon saving. An efficiency focus has yielded maximum performance from a fraction of the former fuel input – a Formula 1 dream! 

Follow the racing line to energy improvement

If you want to streamline your way to energy savings and greater comfort in your own home, start by taking a free tour of Lukas’ inspirational home in Nottingham on Sat 24 Sep 2016.  A home viewing with a guided tour will allow you to quiz him and get frank feedback on what worked and anything that didn’t. So get up to speed on all things eco retrofit and register your place in advance today at

Written by Matt Malcolm and Kaoutar Nahli

Photo: SuperHomes

More information about Energy Saving and Renewable Energy on YouGen.

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