Irwell Valley Homes has developed a collection of low carbon, affordable homes on a former builder’s yard in Bury. This innovative development which cost £675,000 was supported by £195,000 of grant funding from Homes England and is a significant milestone is our plan to become a carbon neutral organisation, whilst meeting the growing demand for affordable homes in the local area.
The homes are highly efficient, produce their own energy and were constructed using prefabricated wooden panels, which are substantially better insulated compared to traditional new build homes. As well as being highly insulated, the homes are extremely air-tight, so a mechanical ventilation heating recovery system has been installed in each home which utilises the warm air from inside, to heat the cold air coming in. While solar panels on the roofs produce renewable energy for the residents and further reduce the carbon footprint of these homes.
Thanks to these new technologies the heating demand for each property is expected to be just 1,500 kWh, which works out at around £250 per year. The solar panels also significantly reduce the energy needed from the grid with the electricity bills projected to be just £40 per month, compared to £150 per month for gas and electricity in the average family home.
With the rising cost of energy, the significant reduction in energy bills means that the properties are much more affordable for people on lower incomes. This coupled with the affordable rent makes these new eco homes truly affordable - kind to the environment and to the resident's pockets.
Sasha Deepwell, Chief Executive of Irwell Valley Homes, said “Last year we launched our new environmental strategy, which sets out how we will become a zero-carbon organisation by 2038, 12 years ahead of the government targets. Completing these new eco homes is a step forward in helping us to realise our carbon zero aspirations and support our customers with more affordable housing.
She continued: “In some ways building new eco homes is the easiest bit of our carbon reduction plan. The hardest bit is helping our 16,000 customers to reduce their carbon footprint. As well as building more low carbon homes, we’re investing in our existing homes, future proofing them in-line with the future home standards, accessing funding to install renewable and carbon reducing technology and supporting customers to reduce their energy consumption.”
Maria Stephens, one of the new residents added “This is going to be a huge help to me and my family. I think it's brilliant that Irwell Valley Homes has built these truly affordable, family homes helping me to access more renewable energy and saving me money on my bills”.