That’s it. We’ve moved into our new house, which has been a momentous (and exhausting) occasion. But this is just the start of our journey and there’s a lot that we need to do to get sustainable.

Being located in the countryside, there is no access to central gas, so our property’s central heating is powered by an oil boiler that heats the underfloor heating downstairs, the radiators in the bedrooms and annex, as well as the hot water.

The house is connected to mains water but what is of incredible interest is the very elegant, bricked well in the back garden courtyard, which we believe was built around the same time as the house in 1850. The previous owners said that they’d measured its approximate depth and though it was around 20 metres (60-feet) deep. This is definitely going to be a project we’re going to undertake at some stage.

Waste from the house is processed by an aerobic septic tank, which we will get into a lot more detail in future posts as this is one of the biggest adjustments we’ve had to make since we are no longer on mains sewage.

There is nothing noteworthy about the electrics in the house, with the exception that the lighting in the downstairs kitchen, dining area and living room is all on dimmable switches and all 18 bulbs are 35w halogens. We’re going to look into getting these switched to LED.

We’ve started monitoring our utilities and there are two startling numbers that have jumped out:

  1. We are consuming between 15-21kW of electricity per day (which is a lot, and not sustainable in the long term).
  2. We’re projecting that we are going to get through 500 litres of oil per month to heat the house and hot water. Again, this isn’t going to be sustainable.

In order make ourselves more sustainable we are going to look into solar energy, air source heat pumps as an alternative for central heating and changing the bulbs from halogen to LED and get an air source heat pump installed to drive our heating.

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