Our new Energy Performance Certificate

EPCsIt was with some trepidation recently when Neil from the Severn Wye Energy Agency came round to assess The Secret Acre’s new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This was after all the independent validation of our smallholding’s whole eco-makeover!

When we found The Secret Acre in 2013 its EPC stood at a lowly score of 44 (in band E). Continue reading

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Proper insulation, we’re never going back!

HomeEnergyLossWe’ve banged on a lot this year during the smallholding’s eco makeover about the need to invest in proper insulation, ahead of spending on eco bling.

But it didn’t really strike us until we moved in last month, that this is the first house either of us have ever lived in, that has been fitted out to the modern building regulation standards of energy efficiency introduced in the last decade. Continue reading

Six Months In: Moving, Snagging & Landscaping

Six monthsIt seems hard to believe, but just over six months into the smallholding’s eco-makeover, the excellent builders had stuck to both the timetable and the budget and we were ready to move in.

So after lots of internal finishing in September, and a disappointing lack of readily available Triple A rated energy efficient appliances, we finally booked the removal van for the start of October, worried only by the alarming amount of stuff we had to pack up.

Now safely in, we are starting to work through the inevitably long list of snagging issues, top of which on day one was the alarmingly absent manhole for the bathroom sewer! Continue reading

The Triple A Desert

A Triple PlusIt seemed a no-brainer that when buying new appliances for The Secret Acre’s eco-makeover we would of course only choose from the most energy efficient A+++ rated.

So we were genuinely surprised and disappointed to discover that there is a real lack of affordable A+++ appliances available in the UK. Continue reading

Four Months In: Windows, Doors and Sedum

Our windows going inAfter seeming to wait around in June, for the underfloor heating screed to dry and for the windows to be delivered, we finally got watertight in July as windows and doors arrived along with the sedum green roof.

Now it really does feel like the beginning of the end as the second fix gets underway. Continue reading

What windows can teach politicians!

energy-rating-badge-explainedThere’s a lot politicians could learn from buying windows. Not some high-tech Bill Gates thing, just your plain old glass variety.

As you know, we are very keen on insulation at The Secret Acre. So it was a given that we would be getting the most energy efficient windows we could afford. Continue reading