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Age is no barrier to saving energy

A period cottage wins a Green Holidays Gold Award for a rental property with a renewable energy system.

Even if you property is a period piece, history need not be a barrier to saving energy and money. Take, for example, this story of a period cottage used as a rental property.

Though small – 10 metres by five – the owner wanted to make his property as green as possible and so consulted the local Energy Efficiency Advice Centre. Their advice took two forms: step one was to install a renewable energy system to make use of the natural heat energy from the grounds around the cottage. Step two was simple – install some insulation to maintain as much heat as possible.

Though the work to install a renewable energy system was by no means the cheapest option, the advisor from the Energy Efficiency Advice Centre was also able to broker a grant scheme to offset some of the cost. The work entails drilling a hole about a metre into the ground to bury a pump that extracts heat from underground – being hidden the system doesn’t affect the beauty of the property.

Insulation took the form of a layer of polystyrene underfloor insulation and preparing the internal walls with a damp-proof membrane, foil-backed plasterboard and period wood panelling. The roof – often the source of great heat loss – was tackled with the installation of fibreglass.

The owner remarked “I’ve always been very keen on offering a rental property that was environmentally friendly. The advice and support from the local Energy Efficiency Centre was invaluable – especially as this was an out-of-the-ordinary property in the first place.

“Not only did the advisor help by suggesting what could be done, but a grant scheme brokered by him helped with a substantial chunk of the heating system costs. As a result of the changes, the heating system now costs me the equivalent of running a chest freezer. My holiday cottage has also been awarded a prestigious Gold Award from the Green Holidays brochure.

Contact your local Energy Efficiency Advice Centre, call free on

0800 512 012


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