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The House With No Heating Bills

Reap the rewards of sustainable design

Earlier this month the Daily Mail featured the story of Tim and Margaret Willcox whose home is so energy-efficient it’s effectively a miniature power station. In fact, the Somerset homeowners recently received a £1,500 cheque from the National Grid after their solar panels successfully supplied the rest of the network with electrical power.

Along with generating their own electricity, the eco-conscious couple also have a rainwater harvesting system. This operates by diverting water from the guttering into a 5,000-litre tank so it can be used to flush their toilets. As a result, their water bills – charged through a meter – have been reduced by about 60 per cent. 

Their stylish property is super-insulated, thanks to its 10in-thick polystyrene panels in the walls and there is also a ventilation system that pulls out stale air and brings in fresh air, eliminating draughts and damp.

Mr Willcox, 66, a retired accountant, believes his home, which was inspired by Swedish properties, could provide the template for hundreds of thousands of others. ‘What we have done could be achieved by anybody in a new-build property. If all new homes were built to this specification, or something similar, it would massively reduce the need for new power stations.’

The planning and construction of their home took two years to complete, with the total project, including building costs and eco installations equaling £520,000. However, their home is now worth in excess of £800,000, so it’s been a very worthwhile investment.

Mr Willcox said: ‘The price of gas and electricity has gone up considerably since the house was finished, so the very high efficiency of our insulation and heating systems combined mean we just keep on saving more money all the time.

‘My view was that I was happy to invest in something if I could get a payback. As it happens, the payback has been greater every year.’

The Willcox’s eco-home is a prime example of how sustainable design can have a positive impact on the environment whilst allowing homeowner’s to enjoy great savings on their energy bills.

If you’re interested in becoming a part of the eco-savvy generation whilst managing the entry of solar heat and light into your property, our external roller blinds provide an eco-friendly alterative to air conditioning to deliver a passively cooled and naturally lit space that can be enjoyed 365 days a year.

To find out more about how our solar shading systems could enhance your home, complete our enquiry form here or visit our stand at Ecobuild where we'll be exhibiting from 8th-10th of March. You can register for free tickets to the event here.