See what Nick and Saffy Wolley’s house looks like now here, with comments from the owners. “An awful lot more detail lies behind the information given, but I hope this may spark some interest!”, adds Nick Wolley.
Inspired by the sustainable, ecologically sound homes at Hockerton Housing Project, Nick and Saffy Wolley met with Simon Tilley and Nick Martin from Hockerton Housing Project to get help with finding the most sustainable way to build their new house.
Their new home, Pilgrim’s Barn, is a super insulated home with very low energy requirements and zero running costs and was completed in late 2022. Featuring floor to ceiling glass on the southern facing elevation, designed to harness passive heat it is a zero carbon performing home in rural Suffolk.
Nick Wolley, the owner, explains: “I have studied this construction since 2005, all originally researched and developed by the great Prof Brenda Vale (respected architect and researcher into the real science of cost-effective super-eco construction). Inevitably, over the ensuing years, various refinements and improvements have been incorporated and ‘smart systems’ added. However, it is hugely reassuring, having built this place as our own home, to find it almost surpasses all that I’d heard it could achieve. So much of it is just plain common-sense, with so many clever, but simple and cost-effective ways of gaining that improved performance and ultra-low-energy requirement. We moved in in October/early November; in the two pre-Christmas freeze (mainly down to -6/7C) our internal air temperature never went below 21C. We had nine of us here over Christmas and post the first freeze and all through the second one, which was also vicious, our air temperature never went below 23C; however, since it was built, apart from testing our underfloor heating for a couple of hours, it has not been switched on neither has it done so in accord with the master-switches.
Our excellent builder had never built such a house before, but he is now totally taken with it and wants to build nothing else, particularly as he now reckons it costs no more to build per sq metre than a conventional house which, looking to the future, will cost a fortune to run. I have to say that the actual cost I’ve paid for Pilgrims, bears this out. This is precisely what our expert, Hockerton advisers assured us; they have themselves proved this, since they built their first set of homes (actually designed for them by Brenda Vale herself) in 1995.
In this blog: Learn how to lower energy consumption and drop fossil fuels- what you can do to cut back on energy consumption and find out what it will take to transition from fossil fuels to a greener, more sustainable type of energy – includes useful advice about energy saving for the home.
Society is in the throes of a climate crisis, which is being exacerbated by our overreliance on fossil fuels to provide us with energy. This has caused a spike in the cost of energy for households across the globe, which threatens to leave a huge portion of the population in poverty. To help combat this, society needs to make a number of changes, both big and small, to address these issues and save our planet from a climate change catastrophe. In this article, we’re going to look at how we can save on energy consumption to save our planet.
There are lots of different strategies households can adopt that help them save money on their energy bills by reducing their overall energy consumption. From simple things like switching your older halogen light bulbs to LED bulbs to finding a more affordable energy provider, it’s often small changes that can make the biggest difference when it comes to the price of powering your home.
Ofgem has an excellent resource that households can use to cut costs on energy bills, so it’s well worth looking into their advice and guidance. You might be eligible for government grants and subsidies which can help offset some of the rising energy costs. They also provide clear advice to help you avoid wasting energy in the home, further reducing your energy bills.
The other side of the climate and energy crisis is a much larger challenge to tackle, which is our reliance on fossil fuels instead of investing in renewable energy sources. This type of change requires large-scale, governmental changes to wean entire industries off their reliance on fossil fuels. Without proper investment in things like solar, tidal and wind energy, there simply won’t be sufficient infrastructure to help these industries transition towards renewable sources of energy.
Unfortunately, the push for cleaner, greener energy sources is hampered by lobbyists and those currently in government who are actively looking for ways to keep fossil fuels viable. We already know from IPCC reports that the current fossil fuel reserves cannot all be used if we are to stay safely within a habitable ecosystem. No government should permit any new exploration as it is a waste of time and money. The reality is that these outdated energy sources simply won’t help our fight against climate change or the energy crisis. You can help make sure the government makes the right decisions by taking action.
The best time to invest in renewable energy was a decade ago, but the next best time is right now. It will take some big changes to move away from fossil fuels, but it’s only a matter of time before it’s no longer economically viable for governments to push the fossil fuel agenda. In the meantime, for the average household, the best thing to do to keep the lights on is to cut back on energy consumption and switch to a greener energy source.
Sustainable living is important in improving the health of the community, reducing carbon emissions and lowering environmental impact. Communities can take certain steps towards living sustainably such as switching to green energy suppliers to meet their electricity needs.
Homes, businesses and communities at large have been investing more and more in ecologically sound and sustainable ways of generating the energy they use. This has resulted in increased use of green energy suppliers to power homes and businesses across the UK.
Why it’s important to live sustainably
Living sustainably plays a significant role in protecting the environment and reducing wastefulness. When communities live sustainably, they reduce their carbon footprint and the number of toxins released into the atmosphere. This improves air quality while minimising air pollution. Sustainable living also helps conserve natural resources, ensuring communities use resources efficiently. This means future generations get to have resources to use to meet their energy needs.
What’s the impact of switching to green energy suppliers?
Switching to a green energy plan means that your energy comes from a low-carbon footprint source like wind and solar. In fact, making the switch to a green energy supply can save at least a tonne of CO2 from penetrating the atmosphere every year. While this amount varies depending on the size and nature of a business or home, green energy sources have an extremely lower carbon footprint, guaranteeing lower environmental impact. If communities switch to green energy power, carbon emissions can reduce by as much as 70% by 2050.
Leading green energy suppliers in the UK
Finding a green energy tariff for your home or business has become easier. There’s a growing list of green energy suppliers offering 100% renewable electricity to meet client energy needs. These include:
Good Energy Limited
What’s the best green energy tariff?
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to green energy supply. What may work for your home or business may not work for another since energy needs vary from person to person. The best green energy tariff for you depends on what metrics are vital to you, such as pricing, guidance and support.
We have been customers of both Good Energy Limited and Ecotricity for many years. Therefore, we can highly recommend them when it comes to green and renewable electricity. Their services are exemplary, and you can rest easy that their energy comes from a renewable source. Below, you’ll find an overview of these two suppliers:
Good Energy Limited
Good Energy Limited is UK’s first ever green energy supply company, bringing renewable electricity to homes, businesses and communities. The company aims to help you live sustainably by providing clean, green energy for daily use.
Ecotricity is a complete vegan energy supplier, providing 100% renewable electricity. The company makes green gas from agricultural waste, ensuring clients get renewable energy from completely plant-based sources.
Ready to get started?
Here is one way to do it. The experts at Switch Plan are happy to help you navigate which green energy suppliers suit your home or business more. Simply give them a call at 0330 818 6223 for guidance and support.
I am moving on from my lecturing duties at Nottingham Trent University. There is now an opportunity for someone to take on this fulfilling role and the universities advertisement for it is below. Click for further the vacancy details. Please contact HHP if you want to discuss my experience of the work. Simon Tilley.
Nottingham Trent University
Hourly Paid Lecturer in Renewable Energy Technologies
Job reference: 011117
Location: Brackenhurst Campus
Closing date: 11/12/2022
Salary : See special conditions
Employment type: Hourly paid/casual staff
Team: Environmental Science
School / Directorate : School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences
Special Conditions: £44.45 per direct teaching hour. This includes the following elements: teaching, preparation and marking of the scheduled programme of work. (A flat rate of £17.78 will be paid for completing one of the above elements of the schedule.)
The School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences is an exciting multi-disciplinary environment for learning, teaching and research. We are seeking hourly paid lecturers for a range of courses within the Environmental Science Department. Our portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate courses comprises subjects such as Horticulture, Geography, Conservation, Food Science and Environmental Science.
We are seeking to appoint an Hourly Paid Lecturer in the following area:
Renewable energy and energy policy
In addition to appropriate knowledge and experience, you should possess excellent communication and presentation skills and a willingness to contribute flexibly to teaching and associated duties on undergraduate courses in this area.
We need skilled lecturers to support students through delivery of a range of courses. You will work under the direction of the Head of Department and Course Leaders to deliver high quality teaching and learning to undergraduate students. Duties will include preparation, delivery and marking of work. You will be expected to deliver lectures and practical sessions, seminars and tutorials and may be asked to contribute to other areas of the School’s activities.
You will be able to demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills and have the ability to communicate ideas of a complex or technical nature to students effectively using a variety of teaching methods, have detailed knowledge of the particular subject area through significant teaching, and / or relevant industry experience.
If you have any specific queries in relation to these positions, please contact: Julia Davies 0115 848 5242
Interviews: Given the nature of these roles, interviews will take place throughout the year. The Head of Department or nominated colleague will be in touch following the submission of your application.
Please note this role does not meet the UK Border Agency requirements for sponsorship. The University is unable to apply for sponsorship for any applicant not eligible to work in the UK and therefore we cannot progress applications from candidates who require sponsorship under the Points Based Immigration System.
Master Class : The practicalities of
delivering zero carbon homes
Our Master Class is a one day fully catered training day to really help you get into the nitty gritty of how to build our type of houses. CLICK HERE TO BOOK
Who should attend
This event will be of particular interest to developers, self-builders, landowners, planners, architects, buildings services engineers, and other building professionals.
Why you should attend
Delegates will gain:
An overview of government targets for zero carbon homes and standards to meet.
An understanding of the impact of these targets for future development and what are the key principals for delivery of zero carbon homes.
Understanding of how to build the Hockerton House
Insight of the practicalities of achieving zero carbon housing.
An understanding of strategies and technologies that can be deployed.
Knowledge of diverse solutions for delivering a zero carbon or autonomous development including renewable energy technologies, and water systems (collection and waste), and how they can be incorporated into buildings.
An insight into what it is really like to live in zero carbon homes and to live sustainably.
Another wonderful, stimulating Master Class at Hockerton! Simon, Nick and
Deb, you put on an excellent day of top-line tutorial on cost-effective
autonomous house design and construction, which, in its fundamental
science can be applied to a whole range of house and building types. You
are aware that I was commissioned in 2008 to project manage a PPS7 type
house (now a para 79 house, under the current NPPF). I asked my
commissioned architect to attend one of your then Master Classes with me;
she applied the science of Hockerton to our project (a stunning stone-faced
mansion of 17,000 sq feet), which was designed (and audited) to perform,
together with all its services, to Hockerton standards. As a result of this, our
project application was passed by the Planning Committee 13 to 1 in favour
and only the second such house in history to be passed without going to
Nick Woolley February 2020