How to create an eco home: Yorkshire owner opens doors to teach others how to be greener

A Yorkshire man who transformed his home into an eco house threw open the doors so people could learn how to do it themselves.

Peter Gilbert, Green Party candidate for Ecclesall ward, extended an open invitation to the community to visit his home and learn about the process of replacing a gas boiler with an air source heat pump.

When he bought a run-down ex-student house on Murray Road at Ecclesall, in Sheffield, he soon found out it would need more than a lick of paint.

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He said: “It was damp and the boiler was on its last legs so I decided to do what I could to make it a modern eco house. I don’t work in the energy industry, I’m a social care worker, so the retrofit has been a journey of discovery.

Peter GilbertPeter Gilbert
Peter Gilbert

“There’s been lots of online research and lots of trial and error so I hope to save other people time. I want to demystify the process of retrofitting a traditional Sheffield terraced house into an energy efficient home.”

More people are looking to make their homes energy efficient due to rising cost of living prices or the climate crisis.

But with Sheffield’s old housing stock it can be a challenge to know how to achieve this and new technology can be confusing.

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Peter added: “As well as replacing the gas boiler with an air source heat pump, I’ve also used eco-friendly insulation made of recycled denim.

“I used traditional lime plaster to deal with the damp problems, as it is breathable unlike modern gypsum plaster.

“There was so much I had to find out about. I wanted to share what I have learned so that other people can have a warm home that doesn’t cost the earth.”

More than 30 people visited Peter’s home during the open day.

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From April 1 homeowners will be able to get £5,000 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump through the government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

In his spring statement, Chancellor Rishi announced that VAT on energy saving measures for homes will be cut to zero.

This will make it cheaper to install energy-efficient measures such as insulation, wind and water turbines, heat pumps and solar panels.