With aims to become the UK's first completely solar-powered home, The Solar House in Great Glen has reached a major milestone by gaining the top rating in the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP).

SAP is used by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in order to assess how residential properties perform in terms of energy efficiency.

The accreditation was achieved on the basis of the building's low running costs and minimal environmental impact, the Harborough Mail reports.

Features of the building include solar panels, heat pumps, insulated walls and solar walls – which are able to pre-heat incoming ventilation air. The property also has an Earth Energy Bank (EEB) which stores heat collected via solar technology in the summer months, which can then be used in the winter.

According to SAP, the Solar House is just 1.2 per cent away from its zero-carbon target. However, the house is still yet to be completed, and the final construction could potentially push the scheme into the carbon negative bracket. Once the house has been finished in September it will be the first fully self-sufficient solar-powered home.

Caplin Homes are in charge of the scheme, with director Michael Goddard saying: “We’re extremely pleased with the results from this first assessment. We knew that the results would be positive but they’re actually even better than expected. We’re certainly on track to achieve our aim of a totally zero-carbon property.”

In addition to creating a landmark building, Caplin Homes is aiming to prove that more developers can take up these technologies to assist in cutting energy bills for future residents, as well as proving to be a boost for government aims for extensive carbon reduction by 2020.

“This kind of construction could not only help us achieve our carbon reduction commitment,” Mr Goddard told the Harborough Mail, “but could also set householders free from energy bills. With fuel prices continually rising, that’s an inviting prospect to any homeowner.”