Thursday, February 21, 2013
A COUPLE from West Walton is putting on tours of their eco-friendly SuperHome.
Tony and Stella Richardson are inviting people to look at the changes they have made to Ingleborough Farm, on Mill Road, in the hope they will be inspired to make their homes more energy sustainable.
SuperHomes is a rapidly expanding network of 150 energy aware households who have refurbished their old homes to make them more energy efficient.
The couple’s 1950s bungalow has been recognised as a SuperHome because of its carbon saving. They have achieved a 77 per cent saving, far more than the 60 per cent required to attain the status.
Mr Richardson said: “We started making changes to our home about 10 years ago because we were concerned about global warming.
“We installed solar and water systems and have kept going since then. We used to have a wind turbine but it broke.”
When the couple moved into the house in 1996 it had no insulation, no central heating and an old, coal fire.
They transformed their home, installing double glazing and loft insulation, and then began experimenting with using the sun and water as an energy source.
After much trial and error, they successfully devised a home made rainwater harvesting system.
A solar panel heats the rainwater and a solar pump circulates it, eliminating the use of mains electricity.
Mr Richardson said: “It cost quite a bit to set up because we made lots of mistakes, but it works well and I think it is still the only one of its kind in the country.”
The couple have carried on innovating since then. The roof panels they installed on their barn in 2009 have already generated 6,000 units of electricity.
Mr Richardson hopes the tours will be helpful for people who are considering following the couple’s lead.
He said: “People can come along and have a look at the alterations we have made. If you are thinking of making changes to your home we can encourage people by showing them what has been successful for us.
“It is good to talk to someone that has actually done it and not just a salesman.”
They are holding guided tours of their home at 11am and 2pm on March 23 and 24.
For more details, or to make a booking, contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01945 780761.