Someone told us a while back that they'd be interested to see how living in an eco house works in practice for a 'normal' family. By that I think they meant a family that is up for a bit of green pioneering but not wanting to go all tofu and unwashed about it. One of my children wryly remarked that they do find themselves wracked with Green Guilt rather than the Catholic [insert preferred religion] variety when it comes to discarding packaging or whatever and we did do the usual stuff like recycling everything possible, not having devices on standby etc etc before moving here. Having said that, though, we are not really dark green and, whilst I do try to buy the greenest versions I can afford, we do have things like DAB radios, laptops on constantly and the other features of 21st century living and this house is used for work for about 16 hours a day. It is therefore with great delight that I can tell you that today we actually generated more electricity than we used for the first time. Am I allowed a moment of green smugness? Nope, just relief because, deep down I genuinely doubted if the PV would be up to it.... mea culpa.
And for those of you interested in the architectural features here's a photo of the porch from inside the house. The external door may still be closing with string (the perils of having to get products from Germany) but I've started opening the internal door in this sunny weather. The porch gets pretty hot so I've been opening the door to disperse the warmth through the house and this has, of course, reduced the need to boost the heating.
I would think come the summer we will be having to think again about having plants in the porch but at the moment it's proving a very efficient way of getting seeds germinating and I have actually got cyclamen thriving for the first time in my horticultural life.
Isn't it lovely when things work?!