16 Jul 2015

UK’s first low-cost ‘positive energy’ house built in Wales

Home Affairs Correspondent

The three-bedroom family home near Bridgend – which took just 16 weeks to construct – can export more power to the grid than it consumes, experts say.

The property has been designed by a team led by Cardiff University. It combines technology which both reduces energy demand, and generates and stores renewable energy.

The house features glazed solar panels built into the roof and a battery storage system so that power generated can be used at a later stage.

It also uses a range of insulation techniques to cut power consumption – including thermal insulation to reduce air leakage and structural insulated panels.

The designers predict that for every £100 of electricity used from the national grid, the house should be able to export £175 of electricity back.

And they say that at around £1,000 per square metre to build, the property is low cost — comparable to the target for social housing of £800 to £1,000 per square metre.

Zero-carbon future

Professor Phil Jones, head of the Solcer project, said: “Now the house has been built our key task is to ensure that all of the measures that we have put in place are monitored to ensure the most energy efficient use.

“We will use this information to inform future projects with the aim of ensuring that Wales remains at the heart of the development of a zero-carbon housing future.

“The building demonstrates our leading edge low carbon supply, storage and demand technologies at a domestic scale which we hope will be replicated in other areas of Wales and the UK in the future,” he added.