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Somewhere, Bristol
What's been improved


1950s Detached,

Sea Mills

Extensive retrofit of family home combining solar PV, voltage optimisation and LED lighting for extremely low bills.
Bedrooms: 4
Adults: 2 Children: 2
Construction: Cavity brick
Type: Detached
Age: 1950s
The Home

Reductions in energy bills have been apparent from the beginning of works at this home in Sea Mills. The home has very low bills owing to on-site electricity generation from a 2.16 kWp PV array, and extensive insulation. Energy usage has also been reduce with the installation of a new combi boiler chosen for its high efficency, and LED lighting throughout.

The building's thermal performance has been improved by upgrading to double glazing throughout, and a high quality exterior bifolding door opening to the garden. The kitchen also benefits from passive solar gain and increased natural light levels from a Velux window in the west end of the room. External wall cavities have been filled with carbon beads, and the loft has been highly insulated with 300mm of Rockwool. These measures work together to use energy more efficiently.

The Story

Now opening for their THIRD Bristol Green Doors event, the work done to this property shows how a 1950s home can be retrofitted for greater energy efficiency with a family in mind. Building on the low heat demand of their home, Simon and Vicky wanted to exploit the potential of producing their own electricity from a solar PV array.
The house's garage was made habitable in 2012, and the couple saw this as an opportunity incorporate high thermal performance into the design. The existing boiler was also replaced with a more efficient combi boiler, chosen over solar water as this was a 'weak link' in the efficiency of the building.

Our changes have been driven by our desire to reduce our bills and reliance on external energy, whilst improving the comfort and enjoyment from our home.

Homeowner, Simon, 2015
Measures installed Product Detail Disruption Cost (£)
Extensions and conversions

Garage Conversion

Highly insulated, especially floor.

Glazing - double and secondary

Double glazing throughout - bifold, velux is argon filled

Insulation - floor and ceiling

Rockwool boards

Rockwool boards

Low E lighting

LED Lighting

Solar PV

Sanyo 290w panels

Solar PV 2.16 kWp

Low 14000.00
Water management

Low Flow taps

Additional measure

Radiator Reflectors

Foil backed plastic


How this house performs

These graphics show household’s annual consumption data and CO2 per person compared to Bristol averages. Green = Electricity, Orange = Gas, Blue = CO2. For more info click here.


Seeing how energy is produced and used within the house, the couple have become more conscious about how their behaviour is linked to energy usage. This has enabled them to further reduce their energy usage by changing behavioural habits like turning off lights and taps while not in use.

External wall cavities have been filled with carbon beads, which can save up to £220 per year. The loft has also been highly insulated with 300mm of Rockwool, which is estimated to save 840kg/CO2 annually.

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