David Cameron may favour a (probably cashmere) jumper but Britain’s first entirely solar-powered home could be the solution to rising energy bills

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  • Amid the controversial 9.2% price hike announced by British Gas, Britain’s first home powered entirely by solar panels hits the market offering an alternative, bill-free vision of the future.

    Last week British Gas (the country’s biggest energy supplier) revealed it will increase energy prices by 9.2% next month, costing families on average an extra
    £123 a year. SSE and Npower have since followed suit with rises of their own.

    Coming on top of the previous year’s 6.4% increase, the British Gas announcement caused a furore that was not calmed by the Prime Minister’s helpful advice to consider ‘wrapping up warm’ and ‘wear a jumper’ ‒ though customers may well be more receptive to his suggestion of switching to another energy provider.

    So, although its £1.2 million price tag may be too steep for most of the country, the appearance of Britain’s first entirely solar-powered home in Great Glen, Leicestershire, seems timely in its reminder of alternate energy supplies that are both environmentally and purse friendly.

    The innovative, timber-framed home is packed with ‘zero-carbon features’, meaning it produces more energy than it uses.
    Estate agent Anthony Fox says that the possibility of no utility bills is proving a big draw for potential owners.

    ‘The idea is your bills pretty much disappear and the house is self-sustaining and self-sufficient,’ he says.

    Admittedly, even on a smaller scale, most renewable energy options currently come at a cost
    prohibitive to the average budget, along with off-putting timescales
    for financial rewards.

    Perhaps the government could consider conserving its hot air and putting more energy into schemes that make installing solar panels and other green technology affordable for all.

    In the mean time with the remaining big utility suppliers expected to increase bills in days, households have been advised to switch to the cheapest available tariffs now to protect themselves from future rises.

    Energy expert at uSwitch.com Tom Lyon says,
    ‘There are some great fixed price deals on the market that can protect you from price hikes for anything up to four winters.’

    Read more about Britain’s first solar-powered home on the Zoopla blog.

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