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Low-carbon tech to remove household energy bills in Octopus Energy, ilke Homes scheme

The homes are built in ilke Homes’ factory in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. Image: ilke Homes

The homes are built in ilke Homes’ factory in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. Image: ilke Homes

A mix of low-carbon technologies such as solar, battery storage and air source heat pumps are to be rolled out in a new partnership between Octopus Energy and ilke Homes.

These technologies are to guarantee residents zero energy bills, the firms said, with two factory-built homes on a housing site in Essex to initially see installations.

The solar, battery storage and heat pump will combine to provide free, clean energy around the clock, while Octopus Energy will provide a bespoke tariff.

The rooftop solar is to generate electricity for the home and its heat pump, which provides all heating and hot water, while the battery storage will store any excess electricity the solar panels generate for later use.

Additionally, ilke Homes is capable of creating "incredibly well insulated" homes through the use of artificial intelligence, robotics and digital design, meaning less heat escapes. This then reduces bills.

Greg Jackson, founder of Octopus Energy Group, said: “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.”

It comes at a time when household energy bills are rising in line with sustained high power prices, with the energy price cap rising 54% to £1,971 in April. It is expected this will rise again to around £2,800 in October.

In recent months, increasing focus has been put on the role of energy efficiency in particular in helping to reduce bills, with several in the industry calling for greater government support for energy efficiency.

The two homes being launched in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, have been launched as part of ilke ZERO, which the company said is the UK’s first mainstream zero carbon housing offering.

Launched in July 2021, ilke ZERO is aiming to deliver thousands of operational zero carbon homes per year for major investors, housing associations and councils across the UK, with the homes having already been trialled in London, Newcastle, Gateshead, Newark, and Sunderland. Ilke said they are now ready to be rolled out en masse.

The two-bedroom semi-detached family homes, which are being delivered in partnership with Gresham House and SO Resi, also form part of a wider 153-home scheme dubbed Hope Green.

Of these homes, 101 will be zero carbon in operation, which ilke said is the most delivered on a single site in the UK.

New houses will soon be held to higher emissions standards, with new regulations set to come into force this month to require CO2 emissions from new build homes to be around 30% lower than current standards and emissions from other new buildings, including offices and shops, to be reduced by 27%.


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