Hunter’s Oak,

Bere Alston 


Hunter’s Oak is a 1980’s bungalow on a mature, landscaped site with adjacent field/garden of 0.55ha which has sheds, raised herb and vegetable beds, poly-tunnel, flower borders, orchard and PV panels on a ‘rocker’ frame to capture maximum energy. The owners – Pat Anne and Graham Reed have introduced many energy saving equipment and measures. The oil-fuelled oven / CH system has been pensioned off in favour of an 18kW wood pellet boiler. Decayed double glazing has been replaced and loft insulation increased. A new wood store and chicken hut in the field now give dry storage and fresh eggs to complement the wide range of fresh, organic fruit and veg. from the garden

  • 1980s bungalow, on 0.55ha with sheds, raised herb & vegetable beds, poly-tunnel, flower borders, orchard, chickens
  • 18kW wood pellet boiler
  • 4.0kW solar PV array ground mounted on rocker to maximize energy capture
  • monitor electricity use to minimize though switching off etc
  • SW facing sun room for passive heating to living rooms
  • wide range of fresh, organic fruit and veg. from the garden

Energy reduction and conservation:

Since March 2013, we set priorities: upgrade the house, remove the oil boiler, install PV generation, establish an orchard and develop the food-to-table process. The main challenges included learning about the whole area [neither of us have lived in Devon] finding suitable suppliers for the various items that we intended to buy and ensure that our efforts are sympathetic to the area [AONB] and our neighbours.

Energy generation:

The PV is a 4KW system mounted on a ‘Cornish Rocker’ support frame supplied from Boscastle. First year output 4,360kWhrs. using Good Energy to claim the government support [FIT] The 18kW pellet boiler was supplied and installed by Alvesta – first year usage [Nov13-May14] usage was 1.8t of pellets £450]

Lessons learnt:

FIRST: Research your options very thoroughly – ask around

SECOND: Join Transition Tavistock where you meet folk with no hidden commercial agendas.

THIRD: keep monitoring what you have and could improve!

Future plans:

Graham is seeking fellow wood-pellet users to develop a strong buying-group to restrain costs and share issues etc

Additional information:

”Transition Tavistock , Food and Energy: Our growing book of community stories” booklet.

Contact details:


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