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Housing Energy Advisor’s Top 3 Eco Homes in the UK

Eco homes are growing in popularity with the upcoming launch of the Renewable Heat Incentive, an initiative to encourage homeowners to install renewable heat sources in their property. With rising house prices and people becoming more apprehensive about their carbon footprint, green construction is more popular than it has ever been before. This blog looks at the top 3 eco homes in the country and also covers some simple eco-friendly solutions you can install in your home today.

Homeowners are becoming more and more environmentally friendly and are now looking for more eco ways to run and maintain their homes. The Housing Energy Advisor has sought out 5 of the top eco homes in the country to give you some inspiration for your own homes.

Marsh House

This amazing property in Nottingham is the baby of an architect who set about creating a low energy home for himself and his wife. You can appreciate the environmental feel of this home immediately with the outdoor vegetable garden brimming with kitchen goodies. In the home, the couple installed a ground source heat pump, bright walls and floors to reduce the need for light, they don’t have a fridge or freezer, they use a compostable toilet and the property is built to trap the warmth of the sun. Read more over at The Guardian, and vote in their competition for the UK’s best eco home.

Heathfield Residence

This delightful home based in East Sussex has a multitude of tricks to help the environment and, if that isn’t enough, it is a beautiful building nestled in stunning surroundings. Appliance-wise, this home has an air-source heat pump, a rainwater harvester, central vacuuming system, triple glazing and motion-sensitive lighting. Just in case you weren’t aware, central vacuum systems are extremely energy efficient and environmentally friendly. This gorgeous property is worth a pretty penny, of course, valued at £1.5 million. Take a look over at The Telegraph, the first of their best eco-friendly homes.

A Hobbit’s Home

A ex-art teacher decided one day to build an eco-friendly little home at the bottom of his garden that resembles that of one of Bilbo Baggins in Lord of the Rings. The home is made from earth, clay and straw and was made from only natural or recycled materials. The owner taught himself to thatch and carried the huge bundles of reeds on his back to reduce his carbon footprint. The little home has running water and a wood-burning stove. A shallow well acts as the fridge and this too has a composting loo. Take a look at this fab eco-friendly home over at the Mirror. The whole property only cost £150!

You may not wish to go to some of the extremes of the owners above but there are many ways in which you can become more eco friendly in your own home. Try some of the following techniques:

• Solar panels: Solar panelling is stepping into the spotlight right now and the solar industry is booming. The new solar strategy released by the government hopes to have 1 million homes in the UK running on solar by 2015. Solar PV is reducing in price and now you can receive various incentives from the government to subsidise your costs. Solar panels are easy to maintain once they are installed and could potential power your whole home.
• Replace all the light bulbs in your home with energy saving, energy smart bulbs. Energy saving light bulbs last for up to 10 times longer than regular bulbs and use 70-75% less energy.
• Insulation: Review the insulation in your home and improve either your loft insulation or your wall cavity insulation or both. The better the insulation, the less energy you will use to heat your home.
• Install aerated taps and low flow showerheads: This will help you to save money on water usage and will save energy costs.
• Install motion activated lights outside you home so you don’t leave the lights on all night. You can also do the same in your garage and certain rooms in your home.
• Create a compost heap in your garden.
• Plug your chimney if you don’t use the fireplace. A lot of heat can be lost through your chimney.

Do you have any additional eco-friendly ideas for the home? Tell us your thoughts below.

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