A VET has spent £60,000 transforming his home into Cheshire’s most environmentally friendly – and it could be a glimpse into the future.
Chris Copeman, from Kingsley, and his partner Alex have converted their property into the county’s first passive house, using stringent green measures to keep his energy use down.
The model is based on innovative building techniques first used in Germany, and includes 25cm insulation, triple glazed windows and heat recovery ventilation to make the property airtight.
And Chris, who stood as the Green Party candidate for Weaver Vale in last month’s General Election, has begun to see the benefits.
He told the Guardian: “Having a passive house means most of the heat energy is stored in the home and isn’t lost through windows.
“There’s not much need for any extra heat, and the house now earns £1,000 a year on its own energy production, instead of costing £1,500 a year as before.
“The house uses almost as much energy for heating, electricity, hot water and running a car as it produces from its solar panels, so it’s closer to carbon neutral than other homes.”
While passive homes have become more common on the continent since 1990, Chris’ home is one of very few in the UK.
He is also renovating his veterinary surgery in Bryn, near Wigan, using the same methods – and believes building standards across the country must move in line with passive house standards sooner rather than later.
“I’ve worked on a few other projects before and I’ve completed courses of passive homes, and it’s a good system for reducing our energy use,” Chris said.
“We could be building new houses to this standard as elsewhere in Europe, but the Government scrapped plans for zero carbon homes in 2015. It talks about fracking as the future, but what we really need to do is reduce our energy use if we are to meet our carbon emissions target by 2050.”