Greener futures with Homes in Sedgemoor and partners

Homes in Sedgemoor is part of an exciting initiative moving towards a greener future involving Somerset Council, Somerset Independence Plus, and Evolve Home Energy Solutions.

As part of new sustainability measures 4 Mill Walk, based in Woolavington on the outskirts of Bridgwater, has been selected to be retrofitted with state-of-the-art low carbon technologies and helping it achieved a near zero emissions output status. This works hand in hand towards the Government’s Net Zero target for 2050 and similar initiatives will be rolled out across poorer performing housing stock.

This two-bedroom bungalow initially held an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of G, indicating a very low score for energy performance and heat retention and signifying a real necessity for improvement.

To address the persistent challenges associated with the energy performance of this property, Somerset Council has chosen to implement energy-efficient measures and incorporate cutting-edge low carbon technologies.

The intention is to utilise this property as a demonstrative showcase, illustrating the efficiency of these measures and their positive impact on enhancing the overall quality of living in homes throughout Somerset.

Rik Saunders, Property Services and Investment Manager at Homes in Sedgemoor, said: “The transformation of this home through retrofitting with advanced low carbon technologies marks a significant stride towards a more sustainable and energy-efficient future. The deliberate efforts to enhance energy performance not only contribute to environmental conservation but also exemplify our commitment to creating homes that are both environmentally responsible and comfortable for residents.

“As we witness the positive impacts on energy efficiency, reduced carbon footprint, and improved overall living conditions, we celebrate a successful example of how innovation in home retrofitting can contribute to a greener and more sustainable lifestyle.”

The property 4 Mill Walk is to showcase the benefits of the following improvements:

  • Solar PV – Typically, solar panels are installed south facing however due to the properties roof structure, it was decided to install north facing as the property was fortunate enough to still capture enough sunlight north side. The panels include a 5.4 kWh system which is expected to generate 2812 kWh per year. There have been six 450w panels installed.
  • Cavity Wall Extraction and refill  – As this property is a cavity wall build, after some time, the existing cavity wall insulation can become less effective and stop providing the insulation that should be required. It was decided to extract the existing fibre insulation as this was susceptible to moisture and provides a very minimal thermal barrier. The cavity was later refilled with an EPS bonded bead product which has bene proven to be more effective than the older standard fibre insulation. The walls had been re-plastered to give it the finish look.
  • High Heat Retention Storage Heaters – As this property did not have any heating installed, High Heat Retention Storage Heaters were selected. These electric heaters and are far more cost efficient that regular electric heaters and night storage heaters.

Operating in a similar manner of night storage heaters, these systems accumulate and store heat during the evening when electricity rates are lower under the economy 7 tariff. However, their efficiency is notably enhanced by their capacity to retain heat, which is released only at user-selected intervals. Equipped with a digital display, these systems empower users to control the temperature at times that optimize effectiveness.

  • Room in Roof Insulation

As the property’s second storey is a room in roof and serves as the bedrooms of the home, we felt that room in roof insulation paired with Internal Wall insulation would provide a great level of thermal insulation.

Room in Roof insulation can be expensive as the work involves removing the ceilings existing insulation and replacing the PIR insulation to the stud walls, sloping ceiling, flat ceiling, and eaves areas. We also added cavity wall extraction and refill and internal wall insulation to the gable walls as an added layer of heat retention.