We knew before we bought the house that we’d like to be as green and energy efficient as possible here, despite the fact that the house is so big.
The oil boiler’s been first on our list to try and replace. It’s taken a few weeks of research but I’m now an expert on renewable energy – and could bore you to death with my knowledge of biomass and geo-therm, hydropower and heat pumps. We’d imagined wind turbines, solar panels and ground source might all be options – but the thing that’s going to save us here is wood. Or more specifically wood pellets.
It’s a massive job – the installation is big and complicated – and includes a 2 storey high metal box or hopper (to store the pellets) as well as a boiler and 3 accumulator tanks (thermal heat stores) that will take up all the space in both of our out-houses. There’s a whole load of consents to get – listed building, planning and a building warrant – and we need to-scale drawings, diagrams, photographs and specs. We also need a shed-load of cash; the home improvement loan that we had earmarked for just some of the refurb’ is now all going to have to go on the heating.
The good news is that the government is providing incentives – and once the new system is in we can apply to recoup some of the money in installments across 20 years.
The even better news is that as wood is much cheaper than oil the new system should allow us to have the heating on whenever we need it throughout the winter months which is going to be a life saver.
Now I just need to make it happen before the cold weather returns.