Read about our latest residential and commercial projects
Read more about our awards and accreditation
The financial and environmental benefits of renewable energy systems are well understood, and if you’re combining these in the build of a new house you have the perfect opportunity both to design the building to take maximum advantage of the cost-saving properties of these technologies and to go back to first principles and apply the ‘energy hierarchy’ to its full extent.
When planning a new home, a conscientious designer will consider these factors:
Modern building materials mean new houses can be extremely well insulated, which minimises energy loss, but how about the potential for energy gain? For example, designing small windows into north-facing walls and large windows into south-facing walls will introduce considerable free solar energy into the building, and in some modern dwellings is the only source of energy required for space heating.
Large windows create more natural light, which minimises dependency on electricity to power artificial lights; smaller living spaces have fewer drafts and are cheaper to heat; designing kitchen and bathrooms close to the hot water source means less heat loss through long pipe runs.
All these principles are fundamental, but at Solarsense we often find new houses have been designed with renewable energy options added almost as an afterthought, failing to get the maximum from these technologies. There are many enduring benefits to examining the project – with renewable energy options – holistically.
And don’t forget the generous financial incentives currently offered by the government for offsetting fossil fuels and reducing carbon emissions. The Feed-in Tariff is paid on all the electricity generated from solar PV; this electricity is available free to the householder and surplus can be sold to the National Grid. The government have also introduced the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which pays an annual sum according to the quantity of fossil fuel offset by renewable heat technologies.
Here are some points that should be taken into account before you even start sketching your energy efficient home:
There are many permutations to the above systems and many more benefits than it is possible to list here. We would suggest that before you begin designing your home you call your nearest Solarsense office and we will be happy to arrange for a consultant to meet you and give full guidance on the best installations for your project.