With Scotland experiencing its first blast of chilly weather and experts already predicting soaring heating costs over the winter, now might be a time to think about a move to a more energy-efficient home.
What are being marketed as Scotland’s most eco-friendly homes have just been launched – with the developers predicting that owners will benefit from energy bills that could cost between £7 and £8 per week.
The four properties at Ironmills Road, Dalkeith are being hailed as the forerunner for energy-efficient homes of the future.
Developed by Carlsson Properties in conjunction with Mackay Homes, they are on sale through property agent Gilson Gray.
The design has been awarded what is believed to be the highest energy rating for a property in Scotland.
While an average, well-insulated property will achieve an Energy Performance Certificate rating – the standard measure within the Home Report to assess a property’s energy use and costs – of 60 per cent, the Ironmills homes have scored an A-rating of 96 per cent.
Each property has eight-and-a-half inches of insulation surrounding all sides, with seven inches under the floor and 21 inches in the roof, while triple glazing and walls that are more than twice the thickness of most new-builds contribute to drastically reduced energy consumption.
John Mackay, director of Mackay Homes, says: “Since the beginning of Energy Performance Certificates, I have never once encountered an A-rated home, let alone one with a rating of 96 per cent.
“Using ‘passive house’ principles, these houses have been designed to minimise energy costs with very little heat loss and solar panel energy gain.
“With the level of insulation and returns from using solar panels, we estimate it will cost less than £8 a week in energy costs, taking into account the likely feedback tariff, to run these homes.”
Mackay believes that energy-efficiency is increasingly at the forefront of buyer’s minds and such eco-homes are likely to be sought after.
He says: “That’s an incredible feature that others in the property development sector will want to explore further as we look to make our homes more energy efficient.”
Mackay, who has been instrumental in the design and management of the project, is known for his work with Edinburgh City Council. He was involved in the building of 87 Pennywell Gardens, the former Martello Court, which was the first tower block to be refurbished in Europe and a development that in 1980 was seen as being far ahead of its time.
The homes at Ironmills Road feature a SunAmp heat storage battery and south-facing PV solar panels, which further reduce costs as electricity generated on the property both powers the home and contributes to a tariff paid by the grid.
The interiors have been finished to the highest standards, including Amtico flooring and Porcelanosa tiling. The attention to detail and quality of finish, as well as the high specification, add to the desirability of these homes.
Matthew Gray, of Gilson Gray says that the market has responded, despite it being a quiet time of year: “Interest in these homes from all quarters has been outstanding.”
He says the quality of the homes has been in a key attraction; “Not just in the energy and carbon efficiency, but in the finish and commitment to using only the finest materials.”
The four homes, which are set to be completed by the end of the year, are on the market at £425,000.
Contact Gilson Gray on 0131 516