Zero Energy HousingOctopus Energy and a housebuilder have entered into a partnership to roll out the UK’s first homes to guarantee residents Zero Energy Bills. The construction of the properties was first announced in February of this year but now it has been revealed that Octopus Energy will be providing a bespoke tariff as part of the project.

These homes will come equipped with an air source heat pump, solar panels and battery storage technology. Alternatively they could also be additionally “powered by wind turbines and bio-methane powered CHP for district heating systems. Either way Octopus gets embedded power supplies with zero capital costs.

These energy efficient technologies will combine to provide “free”, clean energy around the clock, with Octopus Energy providing a tariff specifically for those living there. Octopus will also sell on the ‘surplus’ [over and above any battery storage] electricity so generated to its customers – as low cost power – thus averaging down their cost of electricity into the bargain

How many of the homes

There is no real limit to numbers in this important ‘marriage’ of construction and Energy partnership, just the finance and will power to encourage such schemes as ‘normal’.

Many of these homes will be “zero-carbon (dioxide)” in operation, meaning they can generate their own sources of energy {heating, Hot Water and Electricity], helping to reduce emissions produced by ‘normal’ domestic utilities such as electricity and heating. These concepts can also be extended to Commercial and Industrial properties.

The Zero Energy Bill era awaits

The homes are being built in a time when bills have risen for millions of families in April because of an increase in the energy price cap [as a result of political incompetence and draconian Government Energy Strategies!], which is the maximum price that suppliers in England, Wales and Scotland can charge households.

This meant an average increase of £693 for around 18 million households on standard tariffs – and £708 for 4.5 million prepayment customers.

The cost-of-living crisis is set to deepen even further come October after Ofgem’s chief executive, Jonathan Brearley, told MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee that he would write to the chancellor telling him he expected the energy price cap to be “in the region of £2,800” when it is reviewed later this year.

Therefore, it is hoped there will be strong interest in these “Zero Energy Bills” homes and other buildings.

High Insulation Projects So Far

The homes have already been trialled in London, Newcastle, Gateshead, Newark, and Sunderland, and are now ready to be rolled out en masse. However this is nothing 'new' in 1986, in Milton Keynes an "Energy World" project invited 50 House Builders and System Builders to showcase their energy saving designes and concepts.

guarantee zero energy bills

“Fabric First” design concepts [since the early 1970’s with the Global Oil Crisis], set the scene with the advent of much higher thermal Insulation standards and specifications in construction.

Now with ‘artificial intelligence’ [AI], robotics and digital design, house builders utilising “Modular Building” Techniques are easily capable of creating homes that are incredibly well insulated, meaning less heat escapes and lower bills.

To reach the “Zero Energy Bills” specification, as it is branded, Developers will install low-carbon technologies to provide cheap, clean energy. Such as some of those mentioned above.

Solar panels on the roof will generate some electricity for the home and potentially a heat pump, which provides all heating and hot water. Although all systems will need to be assessed upon their merits and contribution to the “Zero Energy Bills” partnership.

The homes will also be equipped with battery storage technology to store excess electricity the systems generate.

Octopus as Innovators

Greg Jackson, founder of Octopus Energy Group, added: “This breakthrough partnership debunks a long-standing myth – that cleaner energy will mean higher bills for consumers. Instead, people living in these homes won’t be paying for energy at all.

“This is yet another demonstration that clean energy is cheap energy, and the best answer to the fossil-fuel crisis is accelerating the transition to renewables.”