Energy positive house slashes bills by £1,000 a year

The house designed by Cardiff University is net negative in carbon emissions

Big Zero Report 2022

A three-bedroom house built at Welsh village of Pyle, considered to be the first affordable energy-positive housing project in the country, could save £1,000 a year on bills.

The 100 square-metre house was designed and built by experts from Cardiff University as a prototype to meet the government’s zero carbon housing target.

It was constructed to generate more energy over a year than it needed, to heat, ventilate, light and power appliances.

According to a new study, the so-called SOLCER House imports around 25% of its energy needs from the grid, mainly to cover heating needs during colder months but over the year 1.3 times the amount that it imports, is exported back to the grid.

The total annual electricity import from the grid is estimated to be 1,112kWh compared to 1,458kWh exported, giving an overall energy-positive performance of 346kWh.

The findings of the report also suggest the house is net negative carbon in terms of emissions by -179 kilograms a year.

The house’s energy systems combine solar generation and battery storage to power its combined heating, ventilation, hot water system and its electrical power systems, which include appliances, LED lighting and heat pump.

Dr Jo Patterson from Cardiff University’s Welsh School of Architecture said: “We aimed to keep the construction costs affordable, to provide the housing market with something to replicate, particularly social housing, where low energy costs can be a huge benefit for residents.

“Our research has illustrated how a combination of energy modelling and detailed monitoring can lead to a better understanding of how a building performs.”

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