We always welcome feedback from visitors, but rarely get as full a review as this…
I am in the Oil Industry and a pilot neither, I admit, the greenest of occupations. My Wife and I faced a major renovation and it seemed sensible to come to listen and learn.
What did I learn?
-A Hockerton house is not a ‘magic’ house.
-Don’t stick a B&Q windmill on top of your house
-It is highly unlikely many of us could achieve what Hockerton has, but, we can all do something.
-the first step is to insulate, don’t waste energy.
What do I know?
-conventional energy cost are going to rise.
-If I had the last barrel of crude oil in the world , I would not just burn it.
-If we don’t do something about carbon, its going to get hot and whilst it probably won’t affect conceited (very lucky) little me it is going to hurt those most in need. Millions of them.
-There are positive things we can do and very simple behaviours we can adopt that help; just that little bit.
So what did we do?
-Insulate! Get the house up to modern standards and prevent the energy haemorrhage.
-Build ‘airlocks’ and adopt the rule of Arctic living; we don’t open one airlock door until we have closed the other.
-Underfloor heat. Small delta T over a very large area is very efficient. Reduce to a minimum heating in areas not in use. [Here delta T is the temperature difference across two surfaces, how does it work]
-Build a conservatory to capture the heat from the sun. Isolate it in Winter or when there is no sun.
-Install GSHP: We yet to have long term use stats but advertised efficiency of 1:4 seems common sense. (Although at HHP our experience has not been so good, find out here.
-install a modern woodburner and have it ‘shared’ between two rooms by a little clever design. How can something so simple be so efficient?
-configure the kitchen to make the most of recycling so that it overcomes lazy human nature
-install a quooker; ie boil exactly what you use. No waste. (again…not sure of the stats over the long term but we will see)
-compost, harvest rainwater , grow our own and keep chickens. In terms of cost time and effort , no it is not effective but, it is a pleasure, tastes great (eggs and food, not the compost) and helps just that little bit.
-develop a ‘stingey’ attitude and aim to use and re-use everything. After a short while it becomes a habit.
A visit to Hockerton is inspirational and motivational. We are doing a little bit as a result.