Solar panels and underfloor heating: Inside a very British eco home

Inside the living room
Inside the living room Copyright Fine and Country
By Maeve Campbell
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An air source heating system absorbs heat from the outside air to heat both the house and hot water.


An eco house in England’s leafy Yorkshire dales has been built to provide “contemporary living at its best.”

The five-bedroom, detached home is impressive inside and out. A steel staircase greets you in the atrium, leading to a modern interior with porcelain floors and glass walls. Outside is a walled garden with plenty of room to grow vegetables and decorate the area with plants.

Valued between £740,000 - £780,000 (€822,000 - €866,000) on Rightmove, the unique selling point of the property is its energy efficiency rating. The EPC scale runs from A-G, with G indicating low energy efficiency and higher running costs, and A indicating that a house is very energy efficient.

The test accounts for several factors, including estimates of the energy your property potentially uses, carbon dioxide emissions and fuel costs.

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Inside the eco houseFine and Country
Fine and Country
Exterior of the eco houseFine and Country

The Yorkshire eco home ranks as B, which makes it a great investment considering most older homes are around a grade D.

So what makes it so eco-friendly? An air source heating system absorbs heat from the outside air to heat both the house and hot water. The combination of underfloor heating and radiators currently means that future owners will benefit from reduced bills, saving approximately £880 per year.

A bank of solar panels also provides the home with renewable energy all year round, meaning owners could save around £1,300 a year on electricity costs.

"This outstanding and stylish eco house is also very cost-effective to run," says estate agent Fine & Country, describing the sale as a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The property comes with an internal garage, which hopefully will be home to any number of electric cars once it’s under ownership...

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Inside the living roomFine and Country

What about a green mortgage?

A green mortgage is a type of loan meant to encourage you to buy a more eco-friendly property. Put simply, it’s a mortgage product where the cost of the borrowing is directly linked to the energy performance of the associated property. The idea is that the money the borrower saves by having a more energy efficient home should make them better able to make their repayments, as bills come to less each month.

As a result, interest rates tend to be lower as it's less of a risk for the lender.

To assess the eligibility of your own home for a green mortgage, you must first do an energy performance evaluation and obtain a certificate.

For some sure-fire ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency rating, EDF energy recommend measures such as double glazing, loft/wall insulation and boiler replacement. An efficient secondary heating source is also a good idea - installing a wood burning stove instead of an open fireplace gives you greater fuel efficiency and reduces costs too.

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