Smart talk plans

First ‘zero bill’ homes near completion as plans unveiled to build 10,000 more by 2030

Britain’s first homes with zero energy bills for its residents are being launched as part of a renewable housing trial. Owners will be subscribed at a special rate and will not pay any bills unless they use more than 10 MWh of energy.

It comes as energy bills are expected to hit £2,800 later this year and £2,900 in 2023. Octopus Energy has partnered with builder Ilke Homes to develop the homes which will include an air-source heat pump and panels solar.

Homes will also be equipped with battery technology to store any excess green electricity generated by the solar panels for later use. If solar panels fail to generate enough power, homes can still draw energy to use without it affecting their bills, reports the Mirror.

The companies are piloting the project with a pair of two-bedroom semi-detached family homes in Essex. These are part of a larger scheme of 153 homes, dubbed Hope Green.

The first homes will be ready to move into in the coming weeks, and there are plans to expand the program to over 10,000 homes by 2030.

While low-carbon technologies are expected to save long-term residents money, buyers will have to pay an extra £8,000-9,000 for their new home. Octopus and Ilke claim that each ‘zero bill’ household will save over £2,000 in energy costs per year based on current prices.

The homes will save residents over £2,000 a year

Giles Carter, CEO of Ilke Homes, said, “Our strategic partnership with Octopus Energy Group is the next step in our ilke ZERO journey.

“The premise of this partnership is both to empower consumers, who are facing one of the worst cost of living crises in decades, and to demonstrate that net zero and construction can go hand in hand.”

Greg Jackson, Founder of Octopus Energy Group, said, “This groundbreaking partnership debunks a long-held myth: cleaner energy will result in higher bills for consumers. Instead, people living in these homes will not pay for energy at all.

“This is yet another demonstration that clean energy is cheap energy, and the best answer to the fossil fuel crisis is to accelerate the transition to renewable energy.”

Energy consultant Cornwall Insight predicts the price cap will rise to £2,879 from October before rising to £2,907 in January, under new rules which mean the cap can be adjusted every three months.

The price cap for those on default rates paying by direct debit has increased by £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 last month.

It covers around 22 million households and is linked to wholesale energy costs, which are rising due to global supply problems and the war in Ukraine.