Colin White is married with two children. He has lived in a quiet suburban street in Aylesbury for the last 11 years. In that time he and his family have adapted their modest house with numerous sustainability measures in order to try and reduce their impact on the environment. It all started with the introduction of solar photovoltaic and hot water panels in 2004. At the same time a condensing boiler and new radiators with thermostatic valves were fitted. This has meant that the house now generates nearly 50% of the electricity that it uses and about 40% of its hot water.
Since then the loft insulation has been doubled, cavity wall insulation has been installed, double glazing has been replaced and as part of a small extension sunpipes have been installed. Low energy light bulbs are used throughout the house. All of this results in much less energy being used to light and heat the house.
Other sustainability measures have been introduced which include water butts that collect water from over 90% of the roof surface and the replacement of any white goods with AA rated models with their acquisition being based on an environmental assessment. Water use is carefully monitored and at home the per capita use is less than 80 litres a day (about half the national average).
Colin works in Chinnor and tries to cycle to work as often as possible, whilst also making use of the local bus and rail network. Local produce is sourced both from his allotment and local shops, with organic being high on the list. His wife walks or cycles to work in Aylesbury and both children walk to local schools.
Not all of these measures are easy to achieve, though many can be done with no extra expense at all. Some cost quite a lot, though it is still possible to get financial help in various forms that may make the installation of some renewable energy technologies more affordable.
The desire to make changes has arisen from a number of angles. Colin is a chartered town planner and works for an organisation that seeks to protect the very special character of the Chilterns. He was educated in various places and took a degree in geography and environmental studies with postgraduate studies in land resource management and town and country planning.
This all pushed Colin in a more environmentally friendly direction and is why he sits on the SAVE Executive Committee.