Two pioneering tech firms have partnered to deliver the UK’s first homes to guarantee residents zero energy bills.
Octopus Energy and ilke Homes have entered into a strategic partnership on a site in Essex where ilke Homes will deliver the UK’s largest zero-carbon housing development.
Two factory-built homes are being installed in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex and will come equipped with an air source heat pump, solar panels, and battery storage technology.
The low-carbon technologies – a staple for modular housing firm ilke Homes – will combine to provide free, clean energy around clock, with Octopus Energy providing a bespoke tariff.
The homes have been launched as part of ilke ZERO, the UK’s first mainstream zero-carbon housing offering. The initiative comes as ilke grows its pipeline to 3,500 homes – a sign that modular housing is quickly becoming a mainstream solution to housing delivery.
The two-bedroom semi-detached family homes form part of a wider scheme of 154 homes, titled Hope Green. Some 101 of these homes will be zero-carbon in operation, meaning they will generate their own source of energy and help to reduce emissions produced by utilities such as electricity and heating.
Bills rose for millions of families in April due to an increase in the energy price cap, which is the maximum price that suppliers in England, Wales and Scotland can charge households. This meant an average increase of £693 for around 18 million households on standard tariffs – and £708 for 4.5 million prepayment customers.
But the cost of living crisis is set to worsen come October after Ofgem’s chief executive, Jonathan Brearley, told MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee that he would write to the chancellor telling him he expected the energy price cap to be ‘in the region of £2,800’ when it is reviewed later this year.
The first two ZERO bills homes, which will be made available for shared ownership, have been precision-engineered along production lines at ilke Homes’ factory in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire.
To reach the ZERO bills specification, ilke Homes on behalf of Gresham House will install low-carbon technologies to provide cheap, clean energy. Solar panels on the roof will generate electricity for the home and its heat pump, which provides all heating and hot water.
The homes will also be equipped with battery technology to store any excess green electricity the solar panels generate. By using a battery, the home will be able to store this energy for later use.
Giles Carter, chief executive officer at ilke Homes, describes the partnership as the next milestone in its ilke ZERO journey.
He says: “The premise of this partnership is to both empower consumers, who are faced with one of the worst cost-of-living crises in decades, and demonstrate that net-zero and construction can work hand in hand.”
“Thanks to years of intensive research and development, we have successfully created a ready-to-go, highly energy-efficient solution to housing delivery - one which will help investors future-proof investments against government policy, help meet strict ESG criteria, and allow for revenue streams to be accessed as quick as possible due to a significant reduction in construction programmes.”
Greg Jackson, founder of Octopus Energy Group, adds: “This breakthrough partnership debunks a long-standing myth – that cleaner energy will mean higher bills for consumers. Instead, people living in these homes won’t be paying 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 accelerating the transition to renewables.”