Uttlesford District Council holds eco-house open day

ANYONE who wants to see how their home could be adapted to save hundreds of pounds a year in energy bills should head for Uttlesford District Council’s Eco-House Open Day next week.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the open day, at 4 Station Road, Wenden’s Ambo, any time between 10am and 3pm on Thursday (February 2).

The district council has carried out a complete refurbishment on one of its housing stock, a 1950s semi-detached property, thanks to the support of a number of sponsors donating and installing energy efficient measures and products.

Energy officer Mark Wilson said: “The council carried out this project to understand how a property can be improved and future-proofed against rising fuel bills and the need to reduce carbon emissions.

“The council has developed a working model of a range of measures that are possible, which will be used in improvements to its own housing stock and in encouraging private homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

“The property will be re-let to tenants and monitored for two years to assess the actual energy performance of the installed measures against the modelled results. Please do visit the property during the open day, speak to the firms that have supported the project and see their products.”

The focus of the project has been on improving the fabric of the building through excellent thermal performance, exceptional air tightness and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery. The approach has been based on the German Passivhaus Institut standard for retrofitting energy efficiency measures in properties, called ‘Enerphit’.

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The energy performance of the house has been assessed by an accredited Passivhaus Assessor. Based on the calculations from the Enerphit modelling the property has a projected 75 per cent reduction in heating demand compared to the original property, which is typical of most properties in the UK.

Annual savings in bills could potentially be about �750, based on typical oil heating bills of about �1,000 per year.

The range of retrofitted measures have been installed include: internal and external insulation, thermal floor slab, loft insulation, whole house heat recovery system, oil boiler replaced with Air Source Heat Pump, A-rated windows, LED lighting, rainwater harvesting, kitchen made from recycled materials, low energy appliances, eco-paint and permeable patio.