This semi-rural property near Horsham is typical of many houses in the county and proved an ideal energy efficiency case study when West Sussex County Council secured funding through the Department for Energy and Climate Change's Pioneer Places initiative.
The Horsham District Council-owned house, which was built in the 1930s, had plenty of scope for improvement. With no mains gas supply, the tenants were dependent on costly and unreliable oil deliveries to fuel their boiler and there was scope to make a number of improvements to the building fabric.
Installing a cost-effective and reliable renewable energy source was a priority given the high cost of the tenant's energy bills. An air source heat pump was chosen to provide cost-effective warmth and the property's roof orientation made Niron House an ideal candidate for solar PV, with enough space to install a respectable 4kw system. The tenant now benefits from reduced bills and income through Feed in Tariffs and Renewable Heat Incentive.
A number of improvements to the building fabric have helped to make sure that the gains in warmth and comfort are not lost through the walls, roof and windows. Loft insulation and draught proofing have been upgraded and the house now features high efficiency double glazing.
The work was completed at the end of 2013 and, in line with all the houses that took part in the Pioneer Places project, Niron House will be monitored for two years to understand the impact of the improvements made. The lessons learned will feed into wider work by Your Energy Sussex.