UK’s first fully solar-powered house for sale in Leicestershire

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UK’s first fully solar-powered house for sale in Leicestershire

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The UK’s first fully solar-powered new build home, in Leicestershire, has gone on the market.

The Solar House, which is set in two acres in Great Glen, was completed last week and is thought to be the first new build home to be entirely heated by the sun’s energy all year round.

The five-bedroom timber frame property, which is on the market for £1.2 million, features solar electric energy, triple glazing and rainwater storage. There is also a charge point to charge an electric car.

Developers Caplin Homes believe hybrid solar panels, which collect both electrical and thermal energy, on the detached house will collect enough solar energy to provide heating, hot water and electricity to run the home throughout the year.

Excess energy collected during the warmer months will be stored underneath the house in an Earth Energy Bank (EEB) and pumped back to heat the home in winter. It is only expected to require heat from the EEB for about 10 weeks of the year.

The house is connected to the main electricity network but Caplin believes enough energy will be generated to power the home and any electrical items.

Michael Goddard, director of Caplin Homes, said: “The design and construction, down to the materials, were used specifically for their low footprint.”

“We want to prove Government targets are achievable and genuine zero-carbon homes are a viable investment for UK house builders.

“The solar house shows how existing technologies can be used for a large family home but we plan to offer solutions for all house sizes.

Estate agent Anthony Fox, of Country Properties, in Kibworth, who are selling the property, said there had already been a lot of interest in the house, especially from families.

Mr Fox said: “It has only just gone on the market and we’ve had incredible interest from people looking to buy the house but also from people looking to build their own.

“People are very keen to reduce their carbon footbprint and they’re fascinated by the technology and the prospect of their home being self-sustaining and self-sufficient.”

He added: “The setting is stunning and the house is very striking and contemporary. It’s a bit of a grand design.”

The project has been completed by a consortium of sustainability specialists, including Caplin Homes; Newform Energy, which provided the hybrid solar panels, heat pump and control system; John Cotterill Sustainable Architecture and De Montfort University.

As part of the project, an MSc research student from De Montfort will monitor the Solar House’s performance over its first 12 months.

Dr Andrew Wright, of De Montfort University’s Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development, said: “So far the calculations suggest that the Solar House will perform well, so we’re looking forward to starting our analyses once the house is occupied. We’re very proud to have been asked to join the project and act as an independent assessor of its zero-carbon status.

“The house building industry has to move towards more energy efficient living if it is to meet government targets and the Solar House project could be a landmark stage in that process.”

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