So we had a record high New Year's Day temperature of 15c today but even so the sea really did not look very inviting down at Woolacombe beach - but Caroline was determined to get in the surf! No wetsuits were involved in this photo.
New Year Dip!
The Fernery showing off its mega array of 1000 programmable LEDs which look spectacular but do not use that much electricity! Happy New Year.
Meet Marvin - our new Kia Soul electric car. So that we don't get range anxiety on our visits down to Devon we have just fitted a Zappi electric charge point for the Fernery.
To celebrate the Fernery adopting electric car charging we are taking part in the inaugral London to Brighton Electric Car Rally . This event will see a wide variety of electric cars, vans, buses, motorbike and ebikes travel from the Nationl Theatre on the South Bank in London to Madiera Drive in Brighton using a scenic, non-motorway route of 59 miles. #LondontoBrightonEV
Following the fitting of the Air Source Heat Pump an new EPC assessment was carried out for the Fernery and the highest category of efficiency - A - has now been awarded. This means that the carbon footprint of the property is very low - we just need a few million other houses in the UK to follow suit so that we can achieve the target of the UK being carbon neutral by 2050!
Just as we were about to reopen the Fernery after an extensive refurbishment our plumber told us that he could not give us a new gas safety certificate for a year as there was a lot of corrosion in the only 10 year old gas boiler. It was time to do our bit towards making the UK carbon neutral - we opted to fit an Air Source Heat Pump. Basically they are like a fridge in reverse but instead of using electricity to make the water inside them cooler they make the water warmer. They are green in that they can use electricity sourced from renewable sources as opposed to burning 'fossil fuel' gas which is non renewable and releases CO2. There are however a few downsides to an ASHP - they do not heat up water as quickly or to such high temperatures as a gas boiler, they are more expensive (initially - more on this in a second) and they weigh a lot - the one we fitted is 124Kg - hence the crane in the picture! The ASHP needs to be located externally to the house and the gas boiler was on the 1st floor - this means we have 124Kg of ASHP hanging off a very strong metal frame about 12ft above the ground.
However there are answers to all of these potential issues:
Taking on an innovative eco house and making it available as a holiday let has proved a great challenge. As this blog shows life is never dull at the Fernery!