A project involving the refurbishment of the UK’s first ‘Energiesprong’ homes is nearing completion in Nottingham.

Housing developer Melius Homes has teamed up with social landlord Nottingham City Homes to refurbish a total of ten homes – seven houses and three bungalows – in the city.

Once finished, the homes will all adhere to the Energiesprong principles of housing developments which stem from the Netherlands. Translating as ‘Energy Leap’, houses built to this standard are effectively net zero energy, generating sufficient energy to meet its demand.

To this end, Melius Homes has tasked Cambridge-based Viridian Solar to supply rooftop solar panels for the refurbishment.

Other principles of the Energiesprong approach require renovation works to be completed within one week while simultaneously allowing residents to remain in their properties. All works are covered by a 30-year warranty for the climate and energy performance and they must effectively pay for themselves through combined savings from energy bills and maintenance.

The innovative approach entails tenants signing up to pay an “energy services fee” rather than utility bills. This fee is paid to the social landlord, allowing the organisation to finance the upfront cost of the works.

David Adams, technical director at Melius Homes, said the Energiesprong requirements posed an “immense technical challenge” to UK construction.

“Every element of the building has to be reassessed and optimised for the new industrialised approach. Being able to work closely with Viridian Solar has been very helpful in developing our technical solution,” he said.

Adams also added that solar power had an “important role” to play in future Energiesprong developments in the UK.

“You only have to look at the improvement that has been made to these pilot homes in Nottingham to understand why local authorities and social landlords are so excited by Energiesprong. The opportunity it offers to completely regenerate whole areas of our towns and cities, increasing the value of property and improving the comfort of tenants, all financed by energy savings is amazing,” said Stuart Elmes, CEO at Viridian Solar.

The ten homes in Nottingham are fielding into a pilot study which includes an option to extend the programme to as many as 400 additional homes in the future.