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Can domestic eco-refurbishment be affordable? A SuperHome owner reveals his perspective.

Posted by Louisa Clarke on 7 September 2017 at 11:10 am

SuperHome owners are opening their doors this weekend and throughout September as part of the annual open days happening across the UK. This marks the 10th year of the award-winning scheme with a record 100 SuperHomes opening to the public. These are exemplary residential properties that have reduced their carbon footprint by at least 60% through renewable energy and extensive efficiency improvements.

The pioneering scheme continues to draw interest, with many SuperHomes that are opening for the first time this year. One of our newest openers is Paul Martin from Flintshire, owner of SuperHome 219, who I interviewed to find out more about his SuperHome and his interest in sustainable living. Paul’s case study is particularly inspiring as he managed to completely retrofit his home for under £10,000 which is a truly impressive achievement.

Paul is an environmentalist and writer from Flintshire, North Wales. He has his own blog focusing on sustainable living and renewable energy. His interest in eco-retrofit and sustainability started after he completed a degree in Environmental Science, where he learnt about the importance of reducing our negative impact on the planet. He has always had a love for the natural environment, and this acted as a catalyst for him to reduce carbon emissions and energy in his home.

Paul has made wide-ranging improvements to his 1960’s semi, resulting in high levels of energy efficiency. Measures installed include Solar PV Panels, argon-filled low-emissivity double glazing and extensive insulation. These improvements have produced a 64% carbon saving and a 55% reduction in bills. Although he was primarily driven by a desire to live an environmentally sustainable lifestyle, he does enjoy spending less each month on energy. As someone who encourages others to follow in his footsteps, he believes that promoting the long term savings is a great way to incentivise others.

The retrofit of his home cost under £10,000, a staggeringly low price considering a standard kitchen refurb costs around £7,000. Paul believes that this shows that reducing energy-use and carbon emissions from the home doesn’t have to cost the world. He said that SuperHome Open Days are central to increasing the awareness of the affordability of retrofit, and that if people experience the reality then they might be more likely to do it themselves. Many who have not taken the carbon conscious decision to retrofit their homes are sceptical about how affordable it actually is. SuperHome Open Days are a great way to show the reality, and that in the long term eco-refurbishment can save you money, improve comfort as well as reduce carbon emissions.

Paul is opening his home on Saturday 9th September, and if you would like to book a tour then please visit:  http://www.superhomes.org.uk/219.

Alternatively, to find the nearest SuperHome event near you, use our event locator: http://www.superhomes.org.uk/get-inspired/superhome-locator/.

Superhomes’ September 2017 openings are supported by Ecology Building Society

 

Sources:

http://www.theecoexperts.co.uk/how-much-do-solar-panels-cost-uk

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/renewable-energy/electricity/solar-panels/feed-tariffs

http://www.ukgbc.org/resources/key-topics/new-build-and-retrofit/retrofit-domestic-buildings

About the author: Louisa is a summer volunteer at The National Energy Foundation working primarily on the SuperHomes project. She is in her second year of studying Geography at Birmingham and is passionate about renewable energy and sustainability-related issues. 

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

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