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The Priory, Thremhall Park, Start Hill, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, CM22 7WE

If you want to turn your home green simply follow our lead and you too could have an environmentally friendly home

AN ECO-FRIENDLY couple from Oxford who converted their 1960s terrace into an environmentally friendly home opened it up to the public.

 

Tim and Joanne Nicholson spent £60,000 converting their property in Benson Place by adding new loft insulation, solar panels on the roof, a special boiler stove and installing underfloor heating made of polystyrene.

 

They decided to hold the open day on Sunday to let other people who might be interested in making their homes more energy efficient take a look around.

 
Mr Nicholson, 47, said: “The people we had come round were fascinated by what we had done.

 

“I think some of them were contemplating doing something similar.

 

“We ran through some of the features of the works we have done and showed them some of the different aspects of the property.”

 

Asked if it felt okay to let so many guests in his house, Mr Nicholson said: “We find on these occasions people are very respectful of coming into someone else’s home and we haven’t had any difficulties.

 

“Our main aim is to share our experience.

 

“Many people find it quite daunting to contemplate changing their homes in this way but going to see existing projects can be really helpful.”

 

The work started in August 2013, and by April 2014, the majority of the conversion had been done.

 

Mr Nicholson said: “Since the work has been done we are more mindful of the weather because we rely on solar panels for electricity and to heat up our water.

 

“If there is no sunshine, we can fall back on electricity but generally we suggest our boys Benjamin, six, and Sam, two, have baths on sunny days.”

 

In addition to the solar panels and extra insulation, Mr and Mrs Nicholson installed a ventilation system that recycles stale air, ensuring that heat is never lost by opening windows.

 

Mr Nicholson said: “I think anyone can make their house more eco-friendly, it’s not too hard a task.

 

“Things like triple-glazed windows and LED light bulbs do not require any effort from the property owner’s point of view but they make such a difference in terms of climate change.”

 
The couple were inspired to re-vamp their property after taking a journey from Oxford to Oxford on New Zealand’s South Island in 2004, which took them through the world’s poorest countries.

 

Mr Nicholson said: “Visiting New Zealand really opened our eyes to the environmental issues people around the world are forced to face because of climate change.

 

“If the government isn’t going to do much about it, it’s something that we must all take into our own hands and handle ourselves.”

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