Surrey Ecohomes Weekend

On 26/26th March there was the Surrey Ecohomes open weekend when 30 houses across Surrey opened their doors to help demonstrate practical applications of eco-technology ranging from solar electric and wood stoves to energy efficient insulation and rainwater harvesting. Three of the open homes were here in Ashtead and a range of local and not-so-local visitors came through on pre-arranged tours of the individual houses to see what was on offer.

In Ashtead, one of the homes was showing  three different types of solar technologies    –  solar electricity,  solar hot water, and a passive solar garden room. The latter of course is nothing new – a well-insulated room that has lots of south facing windows – but it is certainly able to provide warmth into the rest of house on a sunny winter’s day.   The solar room replaced an earlier conservatory that was too hot in summer and too cold in winter. The room is now usable at least ten months of the year with minimal additional heat input.


Elsewhere around the county the 175 or so visitors went to homes showing solar technologies, upgraded loft insulation, double and secondary glazing, wood-burning stoves and air and ground source heat pumps.

Whatever else catched your imagination,  the important advice before you start thinking about installing any of the renewable energy technologies is to get the insulation and energy efficiency of you home up to standard first –it’s the best investment.

Hot Water and Electricity from the Sun – Renewable Energy for your home

Photovoltaic panels

We are having a presentation on solar energy on the evening of 2nd February (not 26th January as previously stated) at the Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall (APMH). The aim is to cover both solar thermal (hot water) and Photovoltaic (electricity) production systems that are suitable for domestic use.
Our speaker is Richard Warren from Solstice Energy, an approved PV and Solar thermal systems installer – Solstice have recently installed a PV system on Tony Cooper’s house here in Ashtead.

Solar Hot water panel

Richard will discuss the different types of solar systems and the advantages and constraints on the installations. He will also cover the Government’s incentive programme (Feed in Tariff Scheme) for the installation of renewable energy units, including domestic premises, that makes PV installations potentially able to provide a 8-9% rate of return on capital invested.
The meeting is planned for 8.00 p.m. on 2nd February at the Marshall Room in the APMH.
Barrie Mould
TA Energy Group