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Sustainable Energy Usage

Our Sustainable Energy Usage

We are know that our energy consumption has the potential to be a significant environmental impact.  See how we try to manage this currently and what we have planned for the future to improve our sustainability and contribute to sustainable tourism by clicking on the topics below.

We will publish our energy consumption and generation figures on a regular basis. Click on each of the graphs to zoom in.

  • The first thing we did when we moved in here was switch to LED light bulbs.
  • The lights in the campsite toilets use PIR controls to switch them on and off to avoid them being left on continuously.
  • The shower block is well insulated and benefits from solar gain through the large west facing window so no heating is required.  A small electric heater on a timer is provided for frost protection in the winter.  
  • We are gradually improving the insulation of the B&B to mimise our energy consumption.  The insulation in the loft exceeds the current building regulations but the B&B rooms and guest lounge have suspended wooden floors.
    • The guest lounge has been fitted with underfloor heating and insulation.
    • During this winter we plan to upgrade the B&B rooms but as a short term compromise these are carpeted with thick underlay. 
    • All the windows are double glazed.
  • Wherever possible we dry the laundry on the line outside or within our large sun room.

We do have mains electricity and we have chosen to use a flexible renewable energy tarrif. Please help us to keep our prices down by switching off lights and applicances when not in use.

Photovoltaic Array
Solar PV Panels

Riverside is fitted with 3.75Kw of solar panels which on average produce 50% of our electricity usage.

 

Solar Thermal Array
Solar Thermal Array

There are 2 banks of 30 evacuated tubes connected to our 300 litre smart hot water tank.  On a sunny day these heat the circulating water to over 100 degrees, and will heat the 300l of water to over 50 degrees during the day.

Screenshot from mixergy app showing 100% hot water
Smart Hot Water Tank

During our renovations in 2021 we replaced the hot water system with an intelligent tank from Mixergy.

This provides a computerised controller which can optimise the use of solar thermal and surplus solar PV energy to heat up to 300 litres of water. When the demand for hot water is more than the solar can provide, the system will top up with either mains electricity or from the oil-fired boiler depending on our settings.

We can monitor hot water levels, energy usage and overall performance from a pc or mobile phone.

It occasionally has a blip if a lot of people have showers early in the morning or a deep bath late at night and use all the hot water.  If there is none when you turn on the tap – please wait a few minutes while it catches up with demand.

As there’s no mains gas here the main heating system for Riverside B&B is an oil-fired boiler.  It currently works but we intend to replace it with an air source heat pump system.

However before this is practical, we need to replace the existing radiator-based heating with underfloor heating and to improve the underfloor insulation.  This is a major undertaking causing much disruption and can only be done in the off-season starting with the guest lounge.  With the increase in home heating oil prices which are not price capped this has become a more urgent improvement!

Graph showing change in uk heating oil price over 2 years Increase in average UK Home Heating Oil Price

As we’re surrounded by several acres of woodland, there is a ready supply of wood onsite. Regular maintenance of the woods produces plenty of logs to power our 2 wood burners (one in the guest lounge and one in our private area) which provide welcome top-up heating for damp chilly evenings.

We also supply logs to our campers for campfires from our woodlands, and use them to fire up our pizza oven for tasty homemade pizzas.

Future projects will include
  • Air or ground source heat pump to replace our aging boiler
  • Micro/pico hydro using our streams
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