Dave Muirhead

Dave Muirhead

2024 01 30

This case study was provided by a Dave Muirhead who has been served by the nominee in relation to an Energy Efficiency initiative.

Old converted Coach House

"We live in an old, converted Coach House, built in the very early 1800’s. Extremely thick granite walls and large rooms that require some heating. The house is detached and has lots of natural light with many windows. We had two heating systems in our home. The property had previously been two in the past and was joined together about 30 years ago - but the heating was not joined together. One half of the house was heated via condensing gas boiler from a large LPG tank in the garden. The other half was heated by a very old Rayburn, providing our main ovens and stove and heating and hot water (from a large oil tank in the garden). We also had a stove in our main front room that was on constantly throughout the winter, using coal for a long slow burn. We had one part of our garden with the LPG tank, oil tank and coal bunker - fossil fuel corner! Thankfully no longer.

Our bills were substantial, with the oil and gas combined reaching over several thousand in just the winter months alone (this was before we added any electricity bills to this) and the house never really got warm, unless we were willing to fill up both tanks on a more regular and costly basis.

Our Rayburn came to the end of its life and that really pushed our decision - we needed to replace one half of the houses heating - do we replace with another Rayburn (which we did love, it’s a great romantic way of living, but not ideal for the environment) or spend a bit more and upgrade the whole house? So, we started to look at options to unify the house heating under one system.

We knew about Sugplumb already, but we did still look around. Sugplumb were great though, and local - I’m a firm believer in doing things as locally as possible.

The survey Sugplumb provided answered all our questions and was just right - I think I was probably an annoying customer - I am geologist, I wanted to know everything about the borehole process! Sugplumb were excellent and patient and listened to all my questions and concerns - the system was very much designed to suit our needs.

Work In Progress

The standard of work and professionalism from the team was exceptional from start to finish. Unifying our house’s heating system was not simple and yet the workmen carried out some amazing work (with the most beautiful pipework!) in not ideal conditions. I was always kept up to speed and consulted on any designs, changes, issues as they came about. I was never left in the dark and felt very much part of the process.

We continue to remain impressed by the system. We have just come through a rather disappointing summer with some slight colder spells - here the heating has come on as it needed, and the house remains a constant temperature throughout. If I’m honest, I rarely have to think about our heating or hot water anymore - no need to programme or time or plan at particular times of the day - the house is comfortable all year round. The Solar panels too of course have reduced our electricity bills.

Finished Product

We are just coming through our first full year since the installation, and our bills for all our energy needs (heating, hot water, electricity etc) have dropped by at least one third. Our FIT payments come online later this summer, which will further ‘reduce’ our wholesale fuel bills. We estimate that after everything has settled with the FIT etc that in the long run, we will have reduced our energy bills by about 40%. "

Stuart Sugden


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