Britain’s Green Home: a modest bungalow in Cheltenham
This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.
The search to find Britain’s Greenest Home came to an end earlier this week when the winner of a national competition, sponsored by FindaProperty.com, was announced.
And, although on the day the prize went to a modest semi-detached bungalow in Gloucestershire, the stars of the accolade were really its owners Glenn and Frances Simpson, extraordinary people who have put being green at the heart of their daily life.
We took the train (of course!) to drop in on the couple, who are both in their early 50s and live on the outskirts of Cheltenham – but who don’t fit the customary ‘green’ label.
The winners of competitions like this are often either ‘eco warriors’ or rich home owners keen to show off their expensively green credentials; but the Simpsons don’t fit either mould.
Rather, they are a gently-spoken, modest working couple who are passionate about reducing their environmental footprint and who have made small but numerous changes to their lives to achieve it.
So, on a sweltering day Glenn and Frances were given the obligatory comedy cheque (see pic, below) handed over by TV weather forecaster Michael Fish representing competition main sponsor HomeSun and one of our team, property analyst Nigel Lewis.
The assembled crowd of sponsors and journalists keen to interview the couple were acutely aware just how un-green all our lifestyles were by comparison. Like most people, all of us admitted to separating our rubbish and maybe using a compost bin but Glenn and Frances have considered every aspect of their home life – and beyond – from an environmentally-friendly perspective.
Highlights include the five water butts in the garden (the main element of their rain harvesting system), wall cavities stuffed with sheep’s wool within their home and eco bulbs throughout plus the obligatory loft insulation.
Two points Glenn made that struck us as particularly super-green were his car – he’s taken the back seats out to lower the vehicle’s fuel consumption – and their rubbish. The couple’s lifestyle is so green that they only put out their traditional rubbish bin once a month, not weekly.
So what will they be spending their £3,000 first prize on? Glenn says he wants to put feed-in-tariff solar panels to his roof to further help reduce his already miniscule energy bills, which are just £400 a year and make his home, in theory at least, carbon negative.