Great Britain’s first affordable energy positive house has just opened its doors in Stormy Down, Wales. Dubbed the Solcer House, the residence can produce more electricity than its occupants can use. Designed by Cardiff University’s Phil Jones and his team, the incredible three bedroom home hones enough energy from the sun to meet electrical needs of its residents and then some. Ready for the bad news? The house was revealed just in time for the British government to scrap plans that would have made all new homes similarly efficient by 2019.
Nestled on an industrial estate near Brigend, Wales, the modern and spacious home was built in only 16 weeks. The energy positive project cost builders just over $195,000, weighing in to be less expensive than the average house in most major metropolitan areas. The three bedroom house was designed with energy efficient and sustainable technologies, in addition to a large solar panel array on the roof. Together, the home has zero carbon energy performance, but also actually adds to the grid eight months out of the year.
The Solcer house acts as a self-sustaining solar plant, sucking in energy from the sun’s rays and storing it in batteries on-site. Despite being heavily insulated, during winter months more energy is used, but the remaining eight months allow the home to push out extra energy to the grid. The average energy consumption of the home runs about $156 a month, but the home can generate up to $273 in electricity when performing at its peak.
In 2006, the British government had passed a regulation that would have required all new homes built in the UK to be zero carbon by 2019. Sadly, the government ditched the plan last week amidst concerns that it would limit growth. But experts believe the zero carbon home could be even more affordable if the (ahem) UK governments got behind energy positive homes, and advocated for future construction to be built with these technologies.