Whether established Muswell Hill resident or newcomer, you’ll want your home to be comfortable and stylish. At the same time, there’s an opportunity to make it energy-efficient and economical – a quadruple win!
Whilst full of character, the local housing stock is ageing and hard to keep warm. The good news is that retrofitting them to 21st Century levels of energy efficiency is easier than you might think – when you know how!
21st Century Homes event draws crowds
Muswell Hill Sustainability Group, set up in 2008 by local residents, organised a weekend event called “21st Century Homes Muswell Hill” in February which was attended by over a hundred householders.
A Saturday conference and exhibition at the Methodist Church in Pages Lane – itself powered by solar electricity – offered talks and displays on topics ranging from the Government’s new ‘Green Deal’ scheme to fund household improvements, planning guidelines and building regulations, to the practicalities of sustainable materials and DIY options.
One of the speakers, architect Fran Bradshaw of Anne Thorne Architects explained:
‘Our old buildings can be transformed into low energy buildings. If we treat them sympathetically, with insulation made of natural materials, then they can be houses we love, as well as warm, comfortable, and low energy.’
On the Sunday six energy-efficient local homes welcomed interested visitors. Stewart McIlroy’s Edwardian house in Alexandra Park Road has been given a green makeover, with improved heating, woodburners, and solar photovoltaic panels. Key to his efforts was retaining warmth by thoroughly insulating walls, windows, floors and roof.
Stewart and his family feel the benefits, he says: ‘We’ve transformed a cold house into a warm house, saving money and improving comfort. The recent cold weather has served to demonstrate this.’
Follow my leader?
But will the 21st Century Homes participants follow suit? Two-thirds of those surveyed said they plan to use ideas from the event, the most popular for the near future being window replacement, fitting energy-saving LED lightbulbs, loft insulation and secondary glazing.
Where to begin?
The remaining third said they wanted to learn more before taking action. MHSG can help in several ways:
Helping prioritise – A free online carbon footprinting survey to identify key actions to cut energy consumption.
‘How to’ workshops – Events on solar energy, DIY draughtproofing and easy energy-saving.
Trusted installers – A website list of member-recommended installers of energy-saving measures.
Discounts – The Low Carbon Buying Scheme offers MHSG members 10-20% discounts on energy-efficient products.
Cara Jenkinson, Chair Muswell Hill Sustainability Group
To find out more, please contact:
e-mail: [email protected]
Tel: 07834 082074
write: MHSG Membership, 54 Hillfield Park Mews, London N10 3QR