Green Homes Network

Green Home NE607 in Cammachmore

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Motivated by the pressure of future energy bills as well as their impact on the environment, Mr Bragg was attracted to the house as it came with a 10 kW Turnbury and two 8 kW Stovax wood-fuelled stoves. There was already 100mm of fiberglass insulation in the loft to help retain any heat produced in the home, along with thermal underlay and cement underpinning in the floors. This was put in by previous owners after the old house suffered from a flood. The front room’s original earth floors were dug out to a depth of one meter and filled with light weight concrete underpinning for insulation and damp proofing, followed by a cement based layer, and then an insulating underlay, followed by carpets.

More recently an electric vehicle charger has been installed at the home for Mr Braggs’ hybrid Electric Vehicle. Ideally, the LG 1.5 kW six panel solar PV system which was installed in late 2011 will charge the car during the early part of the day.

An A-rated system boiler complete with large water tank and heating controls was also installed at the same time; it has two internal coils (one for the gas boiler and one for a future heating system) and uses an immersion heater. The electric immersion heater is regulated by an Immersun electronic switch helping to heat the hot water from any extra electricity generated by the solar PV panels that wasn’t already being used.

Homeowner Mark discusses the install process: “with the installation of each new technical system there will be minor teething problems. It took a little time and patience to get things working correctly (particularly with the Immersun). You have to lead the designers and tradesmen to give you the bespoke system that you want until it is all working to your standards.”

The solar PV system has lowered Mark’s electricity bill, and the Feed-in Tariff scheme is also paying him tax free quarterly payments of a fixed rate for up to twenty years for the electricity generated. The Immersun system in turn helps him use less gas to heat the hot water tank; during winter it helps take the chill off the cold water in the tank and in the summer it helps to heat it a little.

The benefits aren’t only financial however; the family is encouraged to use electricity more cautiously, and the electric vehicle saves fuel and encourages safer driving. The family’s behaviour towards energy use has changed too, with the use of high powered devices now occurring when the sun is shining where possible.

Mark admits: “I have the ‘eco bug’ now and I want to get more solar PV or solar thermal. I am even considering solar PV-T which is a hybrid panel (half electric, half thermal). The system could easily be integrated to the existing system and water tank. Furthermore it seemed pointless to try to save money and go eco at home and then drive away to work in a gas guzzling car, so along came a second hand plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. It’s all worth it if you add up the financial, educational, conscientious and fun benefits of having the latest technology in your life!”

In 2015, Mr Bragg added 2-3 arrays to his solar PV system. Grampian Energy Services (who have a shop known as the “Eco Hub” in George Street, Aberdeen) upgraded the system and he now has a 10kW solar system which cost an additional £13,700.

"I chose to upgrade the solar system because I had a fascination for the latest renewable energy technology and wanted to produce more electricity to charge my EV car, make hot water through the immersion heater and export to the grid."

Another recent addition to the home is a 'Recoheat' device which acts as a heat recovery system for the flue of a wood burning stove, which Mark says he's really pleased with.

Pre 1919
Solar PVBiomass stove
Floor insulationLoft InsulationLow energy lighting systems

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