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We make more energy from wind and water, than anyone else in the UK.* But never before have we built a zero carbon home.
In a ground-breaking research project named 'Greenwatt Way' we have worked with a team of partners to build 10 zero carbon homes in Slough, Berkshire.
Currently, more than a quarter of the country's CO2 emissions come from our homes. In 2008, the Government confirmed that all new homes built in England will have to be zero carbon from 2016. Our Greenwatt Way project will help us to understand the changes in energy generation and consumption that are required to make that target a reality.
Zero carbon means we will generate enough energy on site for these homes so that net CO2 emissions are zero over the course of a year. This includes all energy used for heating, hot water, lighting, fans and pumps, cooking and appliances.
The main aim of the project is to study energy usage and consumption and the occupants interaction with energy efficient zero carbon homes. Although the industry is constantly revising design codes and standards, very little is understood about the energy requirements of a zero carbon home or what it's like to live in one.
The houses have been built from timber frame and masonry block to reflect the different construction methods used across the UK. In addition to testing energy demand the project will gather valuable information helpful to the building sector on issues such as ventilation, air quality and the environmental tolerance of a zero carbon home.
The most visually striking aspect of the homes are the solar photovoltaic roof tiles. These solar panels generate up to 63kWp of electricity, providing more than enough renewable electricity for each home. The surplus electricity is sold back to the National Grid.
Renewable heating and hot water is supplied via a mini district heat scheme, housed in an adjacent energy centre. This plant room includes solar thermal panels, an air source heat pump, a ground source heat pump, a biomass boiler and a spare bay for a future renewable energy technology. Each of these are sized to meet the full heating requirement of the site. The biomass boiler, ground and air source heat pumps run independently to demonstrate that all of these renewable technologies can be installed to generate enough renewable heat to meet zero carbon buildings requirements.
The homes also include devices to improve energy efficiency and encourage tenants to waste less energy and water. This includes a mechanical ventilation, heat recovery system, and a smart meter. Most homes will include a grey water recycling system which uses recycled bath and shower water to flush toilets and recover waste heat. A rainwater harvesting system collects rainwater which is stored and used to flush toilets. The residents also benefit from other perks of leading a sustainable lifestyle including:
PDF file: Inside our zero carbon homes (925KB)
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Greenwatt Way is a project designed to make sure that we are well equipped to deliver the energy that you need in a reliable and sustainable way all the way to 2050 and beyond.
For more information follow Greenwatt Way on Twitter.
*"We" means the SSE Group, of which SSE Energy Supply Ltd and SSE Generation Ltd are members. SSE Generation Ltd generates more renewable electricity than any other energy company in the UK.Based on installed capacity - see SSE Annual Report 2012 (May 2012) and Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics.
Every unit of renewable electricity generated at Greenwatt Way will be eligible for the Government’s new Feed-in Tariff (FiT).
SSE Contracting is one of the country’s leading mechanical and electrical contractors and is experienced in delivering a wide range of services to all industry sectors.
As part of its involvement with the Greenwatt Way project SSE Contracting can help you with your carbon management through their experience of installing electrical, mechanical and renewable technologies.
Watch our zero carbon homes being built
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SSE and Southern Electric are trading names of: SSE Energy Supply Limited Registered in England & Wales No. 03757502 (Supply of Electricity, Home Phone, Broadband and Feed in Tariffs); Southern Electric Gas Limited Registered in England & Wales No. 02716495 (Supply of Gas); SSE Water Limited Registered in England & Wales No. 06021063 (Supply of Water); SSE Home Services Limited Registered in Scotland No. SC292102 (Heating & Wiring, Shield Care & Servicing, Gas Installations & Eco); SSE Energy Solutions Limited Registered in Scotland No. SC386054 (Energy Efficiency Installations & Insulation Products); SSE Green Deal Provider Limited Registered in Scotland No. SC432920 (Green Deal scheme); SSE Retail Limited Registered in Scotland No. SC213458 (Retail Appliances) All members of the SSE Group
The Registered Office of SSE Energy Supply Limited, Southern Electric Gas Limited & SSE Water Limited is 55 Vastern Road Reading Berkshire RG1 8BU
The Registered Office of SSE Home Services Limited, SSE Energy Solutions Limited, SSE Green Deal Provider Limited & SSE Retail Limited is Inveralmond House 200 Dunkeld Road Perth PH1 3AQ
SSE Energy Supply Limited, SSE Water Limited, SSE Home Services Limited, SSE Green Deal Provider Limited and SSE Retail Limited are all authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for certain consumer credit activities.