Everyday eco homes aim to slash energy bills by over 50%

St. Modwen, one of the UK’s leading developers of new communities and high-quality homes, today announces a trial to build the first affordable carbon negative homes at Copthorne near Gatwick. The homes aim to be both commercially scalable and some of the most energy efficient in the world.

Due to be completed early this year, the homes could produce more energy than they consume. Analysis by energy and sustainability experts Ampersand Partners shows St. Modwen’s design could slash 52% from families’ energy bills[1], helping families’ budgets as the squeeze on household finances becomes more acute, and better protect consumers from rising bills. Savings are expected to be even higher for average UK homes, where the average bill is £1,277, if the same efficiency standards are applied.

As well as cost savings, the trial homes are capable of delivering a 103% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to current standards due to the shift from reliance on fossil fuels to usage of electric-powered technology. Unlike traditional builds, these St. Modwen homes will use an electric air-source heat pump. A smart hot water tank connected to the homes’ solar panels will also remove the need for gas-powered hot water.

Everyday eco homes aim to slash energy bills by over 50% image

Residents of the trial homes at St. Modwen’s Heathy Wood site in Copthorne could benefit from design that makes the houses 10 times as airtight as industry standards. Simple improvements to building fabric, insulation, and ventilation, have transformed the efficiency of the homes compared to traditional builds.

The homes are also fitted with photovoltaic solar panels and a 2.6 KWh battery, an electric vehicle charger, air-source heat pump, smart hot water tank and wastewater heat recovery unit to minimise energy use and reduce emissions.

Sarwjit Sambhi, CEO, St. Modwen, said: “St. Modwen is already an industry leader in using low-carbon modern methods of construction. We are now building some of the most energy efficient homes in the market to prove carbon negative houses can significantly cut energy bills and reduce emissions, and to work towards building them at scale.”

To date, high costs have led to low carbon home building being confined to specialist self-builds and small-scale housing association projects. St. Modwen uses innovative approaches to housebuilding and makes the financial investment in green technologies needed to deliver future-ready homes at an affordable price point a priority. The trial will demonstrate the potential to deliver carbon negative homes commercially, and at a scale big enough to have a material impact on the UK’s annual CO2 emissions. The developer is already using insights from the pilots to inform a 40-home development in Hilton Valley, Derbyshire.

The UK’s housing stock accounts for 14% of total UK emissions according to the Committee on Climate Change; the Government’s Heat and Building Strategy, published last year, set out its ambition for all new home heating systems to be using low carbon technologies by 2035 to address this.

The final part of the build phase of the St. Modwen homes will be complete early this year, with results from the trial due over the course of 2022.

[1] Based on a St Modwen Standard Spec home

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