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2 May 2024
Built Environment

Welsh Housebuilder Unveils Zero Energy Bills Homes Project


An independent housebuilder has partnered with the UK’s largest electricity supplier to deliver homes which will enable people to live energy-bill free for at least five years.

The Edenstone Group, based in Magor, has joined forces with Octopus Energy on the project. The initial agreement covers 12 homes across three locations, with potential further roll out across future developments.

Zero Bills is a world-first smart tariff that allows customers to move into homes that are fully kitted out with green technology and with no energy bills, guaranteed. It’s made possible thanks to a combination of clean energy devices – including solar, heat pumps, and home batteries – which Octopus manages via its Kraken technology platform to deliver a zero bill.

To help showcase the technology involved, a demonstration home has been created at St Mary’s Garden Village in Ross-on-Wye.

Edenstone Group chief executive Martin Taylor said:

“We’re committed to raising sustainability standards by embracing the challenge of constructing net-zero homes.

“Our partnership with Octopus Energy – the first, we hope, of many – allows us to provide homes with an extraordinary proposition: at least five years of zero bills, guaranteed. We believe it’ll be a game changer for our customers and will redefine the way homes are designed, built, and experienced, setting a new benchmark for energy-efficient living.

“Our Ross-on-Wye Zero Bills home showcases the tangible steps we’re taking towards achieving a net-zero energy future.”

The demonstration home was sold soon after its release onto the market.

A further seven Zero Bills homes will feature at Edenstone’s forthcoming Eden’s Green development in Bleadon, North Somerset, with four more affordable homes for tenants being built for United Welsh Housing in Cardiff as part of the company’s ambitions to bring zero net energy to all its developments by 2025 and tackle the housing shortage.

Michael Cottrell, Zero Bills director at Octopus Energy, said:

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Edenstone to set the new standard for UK homeownership. With Zero Bills buyers of these properties can enjoy not only energy bill free homes, but a genuine shift towards greener living. And with Edenstone, we’re only just getting started.”

Octopus aims to deliver 50,000 Zero Bills homes globally by 2025.

Edenstone has previously built a series of pilot net zero homes across developments including in Aberthin, Morriston and Newport using various technologies and systems.

The company recently opened a net-zero community hub at St Mary’s Garden Village, designed to generate more renewable energy than it consumes, helping to decarbonise the Ross on Wye community.

The Zero Bills project sees a fair usage allowance set at double the expected electricity usage, excluding electric vehicle charging which is subject to a separate tariff.

Martin said:

“Technology has moved on considerably since we built our first zero carbon home. Back then our efforts were focused on the raw generation of energy through roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and a home battery system to store the electricity generated, plus an air source heat pump to provide heating and hot water, with little smart technology.

“Trialling different approaches, we’ve been able to assess the practicalities from a construction perspective and consumer experience. Now we’re able to use smart technology to help reduce energy demands. The system learns habits and can provide gains that design alone can’t deliver.”

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