Image: Abundance

Ethical investment platform Abundance has launched its latest housing offer, with rooftop solar a key element of the plans.

The new homes will incorporate energy efficiency and generation features, including solar and ground source heat pumps.

It is Abundance’s third affordable housing investment together with housing developer Octevo Housing Solutions. The new investment is set to help tackle the social housing shortage while reducing fuel poverty and contributing to net zero.

The 37 new homes, located on the outskirts of Liverpool, are to be built for rental, providing long-term supported living and affordable homes. Liverpool Community Homes PLC is raising up to £6,850,000 to finance the developments through tradeable debentures, offering 6% annual interest for a 2.5 year term.

Alongside the installation of solar panels, other sustainability measures include water efficiency systems, glazing and insultation improvements, and ground source heat pumps.

The measures will reduce each home's energy demand by between 80% and 93% compared to an average home, Octevo said.

Bruce Davis, joint managing director of Abundance, said: “Liverpool Community Homes shows we can create affordable homes that make lower carbon living possible for everyone. We need low carbon housing to help deliver net zero, but we can’t do that at the expense of affordability.”

Robert Macmaster, director of Octevo Housing Solutions, said Octevo can set “a leading example” in the sector.

“From the outset our ambition has been not only to help fix the dire shortage of quality housing for those in need, but to prove it can be done in a green and sustainable way,” he added.

Abundance has a long history in the UK's residential solar space. In 2016, it launched up to £10 million in green cashback payments to UK households who installed solar panels before April 2012. The offer provided early adopters with a lump sum payment for their future feed-in tariff (FiT) while allowing them to retain solar electricity generated free of charge, as well as ownership of the panels.

A year prior, it launched a solar investment opportunity to install 500 rooftop solar installations.

Under the Future Homes Standard, all new homes built from 2025 will be built with low-carbon heating and high energy efficiency standards. A consultation is currently open on the methods to achieving this. One of which would see low carbon technology such as solar installed on new builds.

Solar companies such as Viridian Solar are also quick to collaborate with housing developers. In the last year, it has signed deals with Stewart Milne Homes, Springfield Properties, and Persimmon Homes and McTaggart Group.