Baldock family goes for green with extension

A father of four from Baldock has told how after doubling the size of his home he's been able to save money on his heating bills by installing a green energy system.

A father-of-four from Baldock has told how after doubling the size of his home he’s been able to save money on his heating bills by installing a green energy system.

Ian Fursland, moved his family into a three bedroom chalet bungalow in 2004, but decided to spend a substantial sum on an extension to double the size of the property just four years later, to accommodate for his growing children.

Now he’s been able to provide constant hot water and central heating and reduce the building’s carbon footprint after installing an air source heat pump.

The electric pump absorbs heat from outside air to provide central heating and hot water, saving the family thousands of pounds in the process.

Ian, 45, says he chose the heat pump after his energy system started to perform poorly. He admits, as with most parents, cost-effectiveness was the first criteria in his search for a new heating system.

Ian says, 'Our old heating system was in a bad way so I started to look into alternatives. My main concern was that the new system worked efficiently and saved us money. After looking into the options available the air source heat pump was a clear winner and the fact that it was great for the environment was a real bonus.

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'When we bought the house the children were a lot smaller but as they’d grown up it became important that we found some extra space, so we decided to extend the house and add a further three bedrooms.

'Not only were we looking for a new heating system, we wanted one that would be able to effectively heat an area double the size of the initial property.'

Ian called in green energy experts MG Renewables to fit the system in 2008 for a cost of �12,000 and says it has proved a great investment ever since.

He adds, 'Since the system has been installed the house has been kept at an ambient temperature and we’ve had a reliable supply of hot water.

'When we had the extension we knew that heating the property was going to be more difficult and costly, especially after installing an electric aga. However, we’ve been pleasantly surprised that after doubling the size of our home and increasing our electricity demands our bills haven’t gone up by anywhere near as much as expected.

'If you asked my wife or the kids what they think of the system they probably wouldn’t know what to say and that’s because it’s so inconspicuous. Once it’s installed you can leave it to its own devices.'

Martin Dowd, from MG Renewables, says air source heat pumps are a great way of reducing energy costs, particularly in the light of spiralling oil prices.

He says, 'The great thing about systems like the one used by the Furslands is that they’re much more effective at producing energy than oil powered methods. For every unit of electricity used to power the pump 3.7 units of energy will be generated, which really is a fantastic return.

'By using renewable energy systems you can protect yourself against the spiralling oil prices we’re seeing. Had Ian opted for one of these systems his energy bills would be at least 30% higher.'

Ian says he’s pleased with how the system has fitted into his home expansion plans.

He concludes, 'We expect the pump to have paid for itself in 12 years and for anyone else thinking of having one fitted I think the decision is a no brainer. They’re cheaper and more efficient than non-renewable energy systems and you can do your bit to help the environment in the process.'

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