The overnight low in West Kirby on the Wirrall was around 5C last night. Yet in Colin Usher’s home the temperature is a comfy 20c-21C – despite the fact he has not turned on the heating once this autumn. Even in the depths of winter, the house uses a fraction of the energy that most British homes consume trying to keep warm. On average, the Ushers’ home energy bills since 2014 have been £530 a year, and that for a house that is nearly twice the size of a standard British semi. It means the family is saving at least £1,000 a year, and possibly much more. Throw in the fact that their rooftop solar panels generate an income of £500 a year and their net energy bills are actually close to zero. Usher is a fan of “Passivhaus” eco-standards for building, he is critical of some in the insulation industry. “I have a jaundiced view of installing insulation without warning about the condensation risks. People go to great efforts to put in insulation, then get condensation and mildew in the corner of their rooms. It’s almost bound to happen.” He recommends that anyone making their home airtight should also consider systems such as the Nuaire Drimaster, which costs around £250 and gently forces moist air out of the house.
Guardian 22nd Oct 2016 read more »