The UK’s first carbon neutral ‘Solar House’ has been granted planning permission by Harborough District Council.  

Built by Caplin Homes, the Solar House will utilise hybrid solar panels in order to meet all the property’s heating and hot water requirements as well as its electricity demands. Solar energy collected in the summer will also be stored by heating the ground beneath the building with the energy being retrieved through a heat pump when required in the winter.

The proposed two storey house also uses other methods of harnessing the sun’s energy including areas of living sedum and bronze metallic solar wall panels which will pre-heat the incoming ventilation air. The Solar House will also be monitored by students from De Montfort University who will publish an interim performance report in April 2014 in addition to a full 12 months analysis in August.

Dr Andrew Wright from the IESD said: “The main aim of the project is to demonstrate to the building industry that it is possible to build housing that is Zero Carbon and still remains commercially attractive. The hope is that the house will be self-sufficient in energy for most of the year, only requiring support from the energy store during 10 weeks in the winter months.”

Michael Goddard, a Director of Caplin Homes, said: “We are very excited to have been given the green light to build the Solar House and to demonstrate that Zero Carbon living can be achieved at reasonable cost.

“Our ambition is to prove to UK house builders that it is possible for them to build houses to these standards and to provide them with the means to do so. This will make a significant contribution to our country meeting its 2020 carbon reduction targets and enable householders to be set free from ever increasing energy bills.”

Caplin Homes hopes that the Solar House will be completed by August.