If I said you could get paid for heating your house you would probably thinking that I had one too many eggnogs over the festive break. However, for Mr and Mrs Willcox, this is exactly what happens.
Tim Willcox and his wife Margret, have built an eco home, in Somerset, which is effectively a miniature power station, exporting their home-made electricity. Because of this, The Willcox’s are looking forward to receiving a cheque from the National Grid, for almost £1,500. However, this super insulated house comes at a price – £500,000 to be exact.Within the couple’s home there are two types of solar power. One selection of power is able to heat up water, while an array of photovoltaic panels generates electricity. From November 2014 to November 2015, the couple used just under £300 of gas and around £400 of electricity. Their total utility bill was a mere £706.40.
However, the bill was completely covered by the National Grid, as Mr and Mrs Willcox, received a payment of £1,471 for the electricity they supplied to the rest of the network.
In the couple’s eco home, they have a rainwater harvesting system which takes water from the guttering and diverts it into a 5,00-liter tank, so that it can be later used to flush their toilets. As a result of this, their water bills which are charged through a meter, have been reduced by as much as 60%.The walls of the house are built using 10in-thick polystyrene panels in the walls and roof, making this property super-insulated. To eliminate any draughts and damp, there is a ventilation system that pulls out the stale air and brings in fresh air.
The home in Chilcompton, Somerset, took two years to plan and construct. The land cost £170,000 and the building and eco installation costs came to £350,000. But the property is now worth more than £800,000 – a tidy profit for the eco friendly couple.Tim Willcox, a retired accountant, took his inspiration for the home from builders in Sweden. He believes that his home could provide the template for hundreds, if not thousands, of homes to be more eco efficient which would in turn massively reduce the need for new power stations.
Perhaps Brandon Lewis will consider this house spec for some of the 400,000 new houses set to be built in the next five years…