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This space is intended as a register for North Cornwall-wide organisations that wish to support the Transition Movement or that may be useful to Transition Groups.

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Gabby Mallett's picture

Superhomes opening on 28th March

Planning for the Spring Openings on
28th March 2010 is in full
swing. We now have sixteen homes
agreeing to open. Some have chosen the
booking system and some have not.

To book one of the open days please click : http://www.sustainable-energyacademy.org.uk/get-inspired/superhome-locator

Since our last news letter we have taken
on our 48th Superhome. We are now on
track to get to 50 by the end of the
financial year. This really is an incredible
achievement. Not only are there
dedicated individuals who are prepared to
make this substantial renovations to their
properties, but they are also happy to
open their homes to others to educate and
inspire.

Our 45th SuperHomer and gave us the following
description of his renovations of Cottage
Farm, Jacobstow. “We bought the Farm
in August 2005, not having had any
farming experience at all - soon after I
learned about Peak Oil, and converted to
organic status in the first three years.
We stopped cutting hedges to encourage
trees to grow to supplement our little wood
and replanted an old orchard with old
Cornish varieties of apple, pear, cherry
and plum, as well as established a soft
fruit garden. We grow our own veg, as well
as keeping chickens for eggs and geese
for special occasions and we're starting to
experiment with Permaculture.

At the same time we have almost
completed conversion of our house and
farm to near zero carbon footprint with loft
and wall insulation, draft proofing, light
bulbs, appliances, etc, and switching from
oil-fired central heating to a wood burner
for space heating and wood burning
Rayburn for cooking (and heating). We
also installed a heat store, which is
powered by 40 solar tubes, a wood burner
and an immersion heater to provide hot
water for both bathing and to feed into the
existing central heating circuit to distribute
the heat. The immersion heater and an
electric storage heater run off our 5kW
wind turbine and 0.5 kW PV panels
combination.

The turbine will be grid connected, but we also
have the battery bank/ controllers/ inverter
necessary to switch over to off grid as and
when major power cuts become
commonplace. Our water now comes
from a bore hole pumped using the home
grown electricity.

We have also planted some 200 trees (so
far) to have something to burn in future
years. We produce our own 100% biodiesel
from waste vegetable oil, which we
use to run our car, our Landrover and the
farm tractor, and to deliver our meat
boxes, which means that our deliveries
and all our driving is almost completely
CO2 free.

To help spread the message, I am also a
founding member of Transition Cornwall
Network and Transition North Cornwall, for
which I administer the website:
www.TransitionNC.org, Having also given
up flying, we now live a sustainable
lifestyle and we feel we can look our
children in the eye in the knowledge that
we are not poisoning the planet for them.
and their children. Nice feeling that.”
----------------------------------------

You will know that we ask all visitors to
complete ‘feedback’ forms at the end of
their visits. At the end of last year we
conducted an online survey using the
‘survey monkey’ tool. This is a relatively
blunt instrument which we used to give us
some rough data. Our results turned out
to be pretty amazing. Of those who
responded (35% response rate) 27% went
on to spend over £5,000 on their own
renovations following a visit. 67% agreed
that their visit had inspired them to make
lifestyle changes. These are great results
and well worth shouting about. The next
step is to do a much more thorough
survey, especially one which includes
those people who didn’t give email
addresses or didn’t give legible ones! We
are already putting in funding applications
for this work. If anyone would like a full
copy of the results please just email me.

On 22nd January we held our alliance
meeting in Birmingham. This was
attended by 20 SuperHomers. You should
already have received the minutes from
that meeting. We would really appreciate
some feedback on these meetings. They
are usually held twice a year and we vary
the venue. We update on the project,
have a talk by an eminent speaker and
usually visit some SuperHomes. What do
you think, should we meet more often?

We have brought in a booking system.
This is still a little experimental, so please
bear with us if we have a few teething
problems. When you agree to open your
home you can now choose an ‘Open
Home’ where visitors can come at any
time between agreed hours, or you can
choose to use the booking system. You
can opt for tours at set times and limit
numbers to these, so that visitors can
book on to whichever is most convenient
time for them, or you can ask for visitors
to email you direct and you can discuss
requirements.

Planning for the Spring Openings is in full
swing. We now have sixteen homes
agreeing to open. Some have chosen the
booking system and some have not.
Please do let us know how you feel this
has worked.

Gabby Mallett
Head of Communities
The National Energy Foundation

Project Manager Old Home SuperHome

Working in partnership with the Sustainable Energy Academy

Davy Avenue, Knowlhill, Milton Keynes, MK5 8NG
Tel: 01908 665555 Fax: 01908 665577

Please visit our website: http://www.nef.org.uk
NEF mobilises individuals, businesses and communities to make their contribution to reducing carbon emissions through energy efficiency and the use of sustainable energy sources in order to maintain affordable energy services and combat global climate change.

Registered Charity No. 298951. Registered in England with liability limited by guarantee No 2218531