House by the reservoir in Elslack that costs nothing to run

Standrise House, ElslackPrice: £495,000

Standrise House with views across the reservoir

Living in a property that was completely off-grid with no electricity, gas or piped water meant that Louis and Annette della-Porta were forced to explore alternative technologies.

The couple rented the remote 400-year-old farmhouse on the Bolton Abbey estate for nine years after moving there from Warwickshire. Wind and water turbines installed by the previous owner had come to the end of their life and so the couple upgraded them and invested in a superior battery storage system. Open fires and a solid fuel Rayburn gave them heat and hot water. When they bought a home of their own, they were keen to use green energy in the new property.

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“We lived completely off-grid and quickly learnt about all aspects of eco-technology. We knew we wanted to incorporate it in our new home, not just to save money on utility bills but to do our bit for the environment,” says Annette.

Standrise House dining area

She and Louis bought Standrise House in Elslack three years ago. It was originally built in the early 1900s as the reservoir keeper’s residence and had been renovated by the previous owner. Louis and Annette have taken it a stage further and created a garden room on the side of the dining kitchen to make a large, open plan living kitchen, along with a pantry.

The ground floor of the property also includes a dining room, sitting room, utility room and entrance hall. Upstairs there are three double bedrooms and a house bathroom. The house is surrounded by 1.7 acres of gardens and woodland and offers extensive parking. There is also a detached former “bubbler” house nearby. This has planning permission to be extended and converted into a holiday let.

Fuel bills at Standrise House are low thanks to its green makeover. The property was insulated and the garden room has solar thermal glass that absorbs heat and slowly releases it. The oil-fired Aga was retained but the oil boiler was replaced by solar panels and an air source heating system. The panels generate electricity that helps to fuel the heat pump. Feed-in tariffs off-set the property’s electricity bills, which means it costs nothing to run.

Louis and Annette are selling to relocate to East Yorkshire with Louis’ work.

Standrise House

She says: “We’ll really miss living here because the property is in such a rural and peaceful location, surrounded by wildlife, with red kites, woodpeckers and wild deer all living nearby,” says Annette. “It will suit anyone who appreciates the outdoors. In the evening we love sitting on the patio with a glass of wine, looking out over the water. It is really calming after a hectic day.”

Contact: Dacre, Son and Hartley on 01756 701010 or visit

Standrise House The kitchen with Aga
Standrise House dining area
Standrise House
Standrise House The kitchen with Aga