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UK’s greenest house costs £70 a year in bills

A house being built in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, is set to become Britain’s most energy-efficient home, with fuel bills of just £70 a year.
The design uses the German Passivhaus system, which relies on insulation, air-tightness and orientation towards the sun to cut its energy needs.

However, the standard German designs, which tend to use solid walls and stick insulation on the outside of the building, don’t fit British housing tastes. This Passivhaus is the first to be built using British construction methods with blockwork, a cavity wall and stone cladding.

The design was created by the Green Building Store in Huddersfield, which is also managing the build process. Project manager Bill Butcher told The Daily Mail: “You can buy a Passivhaus flat pack from Germany, but the materials are completely different. They don’t fit into the local streetscape here, builders aren’t familiar with them and planning can be an issue.

However, the house doesn’t hit a high score for the Code for Sustainable Homes because it doesn’t use renewable features such as solar panels or ground heat pumps.

The three-bedroom property is being built for Geoff and Kate Tunstall on a budget of £140,000, 15% more than a conventional house would have cost. The couple estimate it will reduce their fuel bills by 90%.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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