The current average household bill stands at £1,344 and around 7.2 million homes are expected to be in fuel poverty this winter. The idea of living in a house with no utility bills will surely appeal to pretty much everyone.
A new eco-village is offering its potential tenants just that.
Planning permission has just been granted by Plymouth council for the construction of 91 new sustainable homes at Bickleigh Down, near Roborough. A combination of three-, four- and five-bed family homes and apartments, residents at the eco village will enjoy a sustainable way of living, minus the cost of electricity.
An extensive number of solar panels are to be installed on the roofs of each of the buildings, providing sufficient energy to power the homes entirely. Any excess solar energy will be put into the national grid.
Speaking about the benefits of the photovoltaic system, Plymouth City councillor Mark Lowry said: "What that means in real language is that you don't get any bills for gas or electric in the future. You will save approximately £1,000 a year and additionally you will contribute about £720 a year to the grid – so you will actually make money.
"This innovative scheme will put Plymouth on the map as a centre of excellence for green construction and low carbon business."
Around 33 jobs are to be created during the construction period. As well as the assembly of the zero-carbon homes, restoration work is to be undertaken at the adjoining woodland for the benefit of the local community.
CornerstoneZED – the company behind this sustainable initiative – believes the eco village will be the UK's first large scale, zero carbon community.
Commenting on the multiple benefits of the new eco village, Mr Lowry added: "This innovative scheme will put Plymouth on the map as a centre of excellence for green construction and low carbon business. It will bring more environmentally friendly, quality housing for the city and importantly, it raises the bar for future developments.
"We want to see more sustainable developments in Plymouth that address energy issues and the rising cost of bills in this way."