The residents of Hockerton Housing Project have installed another community-owned solar PV system. This will expand the PV generation by the co-operative from 7.6kW to 13.6kW and make the site a net exporter of electricity.

We decided to install additional capacity as our current energy use is higher than originally expected, due to the number of people working in our business or from home.  The additional capacity also prepares us for electric vehicles.

Conversations have started about going off-grid.  It seems that the risks to grid supply do not outweigh the environmental and financial costs of batteries… for now.

Date posted: June 20, 2012 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Community Energy Renewable energy

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.
-use ‘airlocks’
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.
In conclusion:

A visit to Hockerton is inspirational and motivational. We are doing a little bit as a result.

Date posted: April 29, 2011 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Eco homes Sustainable living

HHP opened the doors of its new ‘Sustainable Resource Centre’ (SRC) for visitors at the beginning of 2005, after 18 months of construction and kitting out. The building was designed, work supervised and most of the labour contributed by project members themselves. The new building is in stark contrast to the infamous ‘shed’ used for visitors over the last 7 years for slide presentations, offering comparatively luxurious facilities including a dedicated audio-visual room, seminar facilities and permanent exhibitions.

The new facilities will allow HHP to demonstrate more effectively the key sustainability principles of the project. The ‘eco-community building’ is low profile situated near and complimenting the houses, including an earth covered roof. This building has been designed to meet the same high standards as the homes, ‘Zero CO2’, ‘Zero heated’, and ‘Autonomous’ standards’.

Date posted: February 7, 2005 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Uncategorized

HHP receives 1000 visitors a year, however, the numbers of visitors has been restricted due to lack of suitable facilities. Thus, HHP members have had a long ambition to provide better facilities to demonstrate its sustainable achievements. As the interest has grown in HHP (it is anticipated that HHP will double or treble visitors in the next few years), the need for a dedicated Sustainable Resource Centre on site seems ever more apparent. Construction plans for the building are beginning.

The SRC will be an inspirational centre and act as regional catalyst for sustainable action, offering improved facilities, including a dedicated audio-visual room and permanent exhibitions, and more extensive activities for a wide range of interest groups, particularly local schools.

HHP has received a significant boost to its plans to develop the Sustainable Resource Centre (SRC) through a National Lottery grant of £49,619 from the New Opportunities Fund, awarded by the Social, Economic and Environmental Development (SEED) Programme.

Date posted: September 20, 2003 | Author: | 1 Comment »

Categories: Uncategorized