The first families have moved into a small development of energy efficient homes where they can expect to make big savings on their bills.
The Regenda Group housing association’s new ‘extreme green housing scheme’ at Scarisbrick in rural West Lancashire features the latest power-saving technologies and materials.
Residents will now begin closely monitoring their electricity use and costs to help Regenda study the performance of the new equipment.
Barry Dawson and his partner Lauren Jones were among the first to move in, saying they were looking forward to taking part in the energy-saving experiment.
“Although neither of us is particularly ‘green’ or save-the-planet types, nobody enjoys wasting money. We’ll now be keeping a check on how much electricity we use for heating, lighting and power. We’ll then compare new bills with our old ones and hopefully we should see a big difference,” said Barry.
Because gas is not available on the site at Heatons Bridge Road and other fuels like oil are expensive, Regenda began exploring greener solutions.
Each of the properties is fitted with solar photovoltaic roof panels, triple glazing, a special heat recovery system which recycles warm air, has a sophisticated hot water system, low energy lighting, and is extensively insulated.
Regenda’s director of development, Martin Davies, hopes the low running costs of housing schemes like this will significantly reduce household bills and help their residents to avoid fuel poverty.
“This is one of our greenest developments so far. What we learn at Scarisbrick will help us to identify which energy-saving technologies have a greater or lesser impact on reducing electricity use. The results will then influence what we introduce in our future housing developments across the North West,” said Martin.
The four, three bedroom properties were developed in partnership with West Lancashire Borough Council to provide much needed affordable rented accommodation. Residents with a local connection to Scarisbrick were given priority.
“My mum lives in Scarisbrick and me and Barry have been living in nearby Burscough, so obviously we are delighted to have a brand new house where the children can grow up in an area we all know and love,” said Lauren. “If the electricity bills are cheaper, then that’s a bonus.”