Friday, 2 May 2014

Green Party visit Hull's 'most eco-friendly house'

GOING GREEN: From left, Martin Deane, standing in Avenue Ward, Andrew Cooper, the lead Europe candidate for the region, and Richard Howarth, standing in University Ward.  Picture: Jerome Ellerby
In addition, Mike Lammiman will be standing for Myton Ward, Angela Needham for Orchard Park & Greenwood, and James Russell for Bricknell.
GREEN Party candidates have launched their campaign for the Hull and Euro elections in what is being billed as the city's most eco-friendly terrace house. Along with his partner Isabel, Richard Howarth has transformed their 1930s end-terrace home in Inglemire Avenue, north Hull, into a model of energy efficiency.
In doing so, they have cut their energy bills while being paid through feed-in tariffs for the renewable energy the house generates with rooftop solar panels and a solar thermal unit that heats water.
Richard, who is standing in the city's University ward in next month's council elections, believes the house is a practical example of Green Party policies in action.
"When we moved to Hull we deliberately looked for a house to do this kind of project," he said.
"This one was ideal because it was cold, a bit damp and not very energy efficient.
"I'm more of a DIY enthusiast than an expert so I did what I could myself and got the real experts in when needed."
Andrew Cooper, the Green Party's lead candidate in Yorkshire and the Humber, was the latest of impressed visitors to tour the property earlier this week.
He said: "What Richard has done here is exactly what the Greens have been campaigning on for years," he said.
"This type of project demonstrates how money can be recycled back into the local economy by using local products rather than people continuing to pay huge household bills to the big remote energy firms.
"It also shows where public funding priorities should lie.
"Instead of spending huge sums on things like HS2 and the Trident programme, that money could go on making sure thousands of people live in better-insulated homes."
As well as being the party's energy and environment spokesman, he is currently one of five Green councillors on Kirklees in West Yorkshire.
His goal on the Euro-election trail is secure more European funding for sustainable energy schemes.
In Hull, where the Greens have yet to make an election breakthrough, the party is fielding five candidates.
Alongside Richard, Martin Deane is standing in Avenue, James Russell is contesting Bricknell, Michael Lammiman is in Myton and Angela Needham is standing in Orchard Park and Greenwood.
Smart ideas to cut energy use
Richard has reduced energy use in his home by installing LED lighting, low-energy appliances, a low-flow shower head and a clothes drier, which he hangs from his ceiling, and installed an extractor fan with heat recovery in his bathroom to prevent mould.
He used materials such as recycled plastic, wood fibre boards and lime plaster for wall insulation, and recycled newspaper for loose-fill insulation beneath the floor and timber doors.
Some of the steps he has taken to make his home energy efficient include:
• Trebling the insulation in his roof, from 100mm to 300mm, funded by Warm Zone in Hull and expected to save £37 a year.
• Fitting internal wall insulation using wood fibre boards and lime plaster on the front and rear of the property, which preserves the look of the building, as well as preserving heat.
• Insulating floors with plastic sheeting over joists to prevent drafts.
• Fitting radiator reflectors, made of foil, on the walls behind the radiators to prevent the loss of heat.
• Tightening the air in his home by covering gaps, such as key hole covers.
To find out more about Richard's renovations, visit

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