1/ We have installed a wood-fired central heating stove and cooking range to make use of the plentiful supply of waste wood available in the nearby industrial estate. We own a small piece of ancient woodland and are coppicing and re-planting the trees there
2/ We have installed a solar panel kit (20 vacuum tubes 1700mm long) from Solarsavings on eBay (Around £1000 for the complete kit, half the cost advertised by other suppliers!).
3/ I have found a source of insulation off cuts in the industrial estate and have used them to insulate our flat roofs.
4/ We have built a rain water harvesting system and a grey water recycling system consisting of:
- A surge tank to collect the water from the bath, washing machine and vegetable washing sink.
- The reed bed: a combination horizontal and vertical gravel filter planted with reeds and rushes.
5/ We have dug out an old well which we are using to water the garden in the summer.
These systems water: the polytunnel, dipping ponds and wild life pond and a series of vegetable deep beds made from scrounged turf & soil, horse manure & scrounged roofing tiles for edging.
6/ We have completed a lean-to greenhouse obtained from Freecycle and using recycled concrete blocks from a demolition next door to give us solar gain and plant growing space, including a rock storage for excess heat recycling (now working well).
7/ A 1.6 Kw solar PV (electricity generating) system - We are using a battery bank to store the electricity, this give us some independence from the grid but we sacrifice some of the power because of losses in charging the batteries. We also get a lower payment from the government.
8/ We have insulated our floors and flat roofs with insulation off cuts from the industrial estate - see pictures.
9/ We have bought an 8 acre woodland and are coppicing it to improve the habitat for wildlife and provide ourselves with logs and building timber.
10/ We have completed a four kilowatt PV system on our workshop roof, feeding in to the grid (and being paid for the energy we produce.)
11/ We have built a wood fired rocket stove in the greenhouse to extend the growing season.
12/ We now have a Citroen CI Evie electric car. It is six years old and we changed the batteries so we were able to use the old set of batteries to store solar electricity in our house.