These are the eco homes helping first-time buyers slow climate change

Giving the green light to new buyers

With concerns about the planet and climate change and worries about footing energy bills, it is no wonder that interest in eco homes has reached an all-time high.

Research by The Home Builders Federation reveals that being eco-friendly and having a good EPC rating are the second and third most desirable features in a property, behind outdoor space, and law firm Shakespeare Martineau reports that 80% of first-time buyers are likely to consider a green home.

This is where new-builds can come up trumps. 84% of new-builds fall into the highest two bands for energy efficiency. Just one in 25 of older properties do the same.

Unlatch, a platform to digitise and accelerate the new-homes sales process, has found that, following the 54% increase in domestic fuel costs, an existing dwelling will run up an average annual bill of £1,507, more than double the £733 new home owners can expect to pay.

The choice of first-time buyer new homes is better than ever, with most developers across the country delivering houses and flats that are good for both the planet and your wallet, ahead of the government’s target of adopting net-zero carbon measures from 2025.

These homes not only exceed current building regulation requirements but are also future-proofed, incorporating solar PV panels that convert sunlight into electricity, low-carbon heating systems instead of gas boilers, and electric vehicle (EV) charging points.


Kent home

Westwood Acres

Westwood Acres, near the Kent coastal town of Broadstairs, by Love Living Homes is one of the country’s first affordable modular developments, meaning homes are constructed off-site in factories, using sustainable materials and reducing energy consumption and waste.

Including high levels of thermal insulation, solar PV panels and air source heat pumps, the two, three and four-bed houses are available via shared ownership, from £73,750 for a 25% share of £295,000.

Find out more with Love Living Homes.


Cumbria homes

Genesis Homes

Genesis Homes is building 16 zero-carbon homes at its EcoGen project in Pennine View in Calthwaite, Cumbria.

The first homes will be ready this summer, and all will be fully powered by renewable energy with rooftop solar PV panels complemented by solar-assisted heat pumps, infrared heating panels hung from the ceilings in each room instead of radiators, and EV charging points.

Three-bed bungalows start from £360,000, four-bed houses from £380,000, and four of the properties will be sold at a 40% discount to boost affordability for new buyers.

Find out more with Genesis Homes.


Cornwall home

West Carclaze Garden Village

West Carclaze Garden Village in St Austell, Cornwall, is a 1,500-home lakeside community with an impressive list of eco credentials.

All homes will be EPC A-rated with electric car charging points, heat ventilation recovery systems and air source heat pumps as standard and an on-site solar farm generates clean energy. Prices are from £157,000 for a two-bed apartment.

Find out more with West Carclaze Garden Village.


Edinburgh home

Artisan Real Estate

Artisan Real Estate has raised the bar for sustainable development with a design framework geared to achieving low to zero-carbon city living in well-connected locations served by public transport.

One current scheme is Rowanbank Gardens in Corstorphine, Edinburgh, where no fossil fuels are used and heating and hot water are delivered through individual air source heat pumps.

Innovations such as green roofs ensure surface water retention and improved insulation whilst encouraging ecological biodiversity.

The one, two and three-bed apartments are set around an internal courtyard garden and start from £242,000.

Find out more with Rowanbank Gardens.

Case Study: ‘Overall, our eco-friendly house’s look and feel has such a wow factor’


The Adeuja family love their zero-carbon home

Hayfield is ahead of the game by building zero-carbon-ready homes which are powered and heated by electricity, without using fossil fuels.

Buyers enjoy high thermal efficiency, air source heat pumps, EV charge points and low-energy underfloor heating, minimising their impact on the environment while keeping running costs low.

Such eco features convinced the Adeuja family to buy their first home at Hayfield Walk, Hanslope, Buckinghamshire. Michelle, 36, Femi, 43, and their children Tara, eight, and Tobi, six, had rented a flat in Hatfield before moving to their three-bed house at the development.

‘My husband has an electric car, so the green specification features were a big factor,’ explains Michelle, a social worker.

‘The rapid car charging point is a must, and we appreciate how the air source heat pump helps us to further reduce our carbon footprint. Overall, the look and feel of the house has such a wow factor.’

Two, three and four-bed houses at Hayfield Walk start at £375,000.

Find out more at Hayfield Homes.


Gosport home

Priddy’s Hard

Priddy’s Hard in Gosport, Hampshire consists of three and four-bed houses, which are manufactured off-site, and set within historic naval ramparts.

Each incorporates solar PV panels which create electricity and store it in a battery, saving up to 75% on bills, and artificial intelligence which manages heating, lighting and security so residents don’t waste money warming up an empty house. From £325,000.

Find out more with Elite NuGen.


3th March 2022 Delemere Park, Nunney, opening copyright Neil Phillips

Delamare Park (Picture: Neil Phillips photo and film Lim)

Over in the West Country, Britain’s biggest housebuilder Barratt has just launched its first gas-free scheme at Delamare Park in Nunney, near Frome in Somerset.

All 82 two, three and four-bed houses are fitted with air source heat pumps which only require water and a power source.

They absorb heat from the outside air to run central heating and hot water systems, and can be controlled by a smartphone, tablet or computer, from £290,000 with Help to Buy.

Find out more with Barratt Homes.




Northstone is another developer that takes sustainability very seriously, installing triple-glazed windows, air source heat pumps and waste water heat recovery systems in every home.

On top of this, the Wondrwall intelligent home assistant learns how each resident lives to adapt lighting and heating needs to save on energy bills.

Two, three and four-bedroom houses at Keld, in Barrowford, a rural village near Pendle in Lancashire start from £190,000 and Help to Buy is available.

Find out more with Northstone.

Energy Performance Certificate

This certificate contains information on a property’s energy use and costs, and recommendations on how to reduce consumption and save money. Ratings go from A (the most efficient) to G (the least).

The average home is rated D, so there’s definitely room for improvement. EPCs are required by law before selling or renting out new-build and existing properties, and are valid for ten years.

An energy assessment’s often booked by an estate agent before a home goes on the market, but you can find a local accredited assessor via the Government website.


London home

The Zero in Raynes Park

The Zero in Raynes Park, SW20, recently won the Energy Efficiency Award 2022 for the best London development.

It was built with the aim of achieving zero-carbon status and A-rated energy efficiency, and developer Max Smith and his team have created a completely airtight building including upgraded insulation, triple-glazed windows, boiling water taps and Tesla Powerwall batteries which allow any excess energy from the development’s solar generation to be stored and used to power each home.

The one and two-bedroom apartments start from £380,000 and Help to Buy is available.

Find out more with Hamptons.

A Zero first

A Zero first

Zero carbon house

A ground-breaking property

A private house in Camden is the first residential building in the UK to be verified as completely net zero-carbon.

Built for Max Fordham, a pioneer of sustainable design who founded the building services engineering firm and sadly passed away earlier this year, it is a certified Passivhaus, regarded as the world’s most rigorous low-energy design standards.

Triple-glazed windows are positioned so electric lighting is not needed during the day. They are a ‘net gain’ for solar heating, as the innovative internal insulating shutters close when heat would be lost at night.

The house requires so little heating that on completion in 2019 Max held a literal ‘housewarming’ to raise the internal temperature and avoid the need for heating for many months.

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