Bath resident Margaret Stonard is opening the doors to her 1970s bungalow in Odd Down to show people that simple energy-saving measures to an ordinary home can make a huge difference.
Curo is a lead sponsor of Bath Green Homes 2013, helping local people to make their homes, warmer, greener and cheaper to run. Margaret's home is one of two Curo properties taking part in this year’s Open Homes Weekend, running 13-14 April.
Margaret lives in a Curo bungalow, built in 1974 as part of a development of sheltered housing. The traditionally-constructed home has a 300mm of loft insulation – one of the simplest ways to combat heat loss. As the landlord, Curo installed this insulation, but there is considerable financial support available for private owners or landlords who want to upgrade their insulation.
Curo has also installed an A-rated energy-efficient gas condensing combi boiler – condensing boilers extract heat that would otherwise be lost up the flue, making them a great choice. The bungalow has metal-framed doubled glazed windows, which are soon going to be replaced by more modern uPVC windows.
However, the key to much of what makes Margaret’s home energy-efficient lies in simple, low-cost actions, as Margaret explains: “I am a member of the Sustainability Forum, a group of green-minded Curo residents. Through the Forum I have borrowed an energy monitor so that I can see exactly what electricity I am using. I then do my best to conserve energy. I never fill my kettle to the top, only putting in enough water for what I need. I close all the doors to my rooms to it keep the heat in and I use low-energy light bulbs.
“I have put a radiator-reflector behind my main radiator. You can easily make your own from a piece of cardboard, kitchen foil, tape and a bean stick.” Forum members run events and visit Curo households demonstrating simple tips like these, loaning energy monitors and offering follow-up visits. Their work on these roadshows has recently been shortlisted for a national award.
Margaret is spending less than a £1 a day on electricity and says that her bills haven’t risen in the past year although energy prices have risen because she continues to put in place new energy-saving measures.
Visit the Bath Green Homes website www.bathgreenhomes.co.uk for details of all the homes open and other events taking place. Curo’s other open house is a semi-detached family home in Twerton, Bath.
Find out more about the Sustainability Forum here or call 01225 344306.