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Solar PV for England's first Passivhaus

England's first Passivhaus

Ecoliving's South Midlands office supplies Schuco solar PV panels to England's first passivhaus.

Passivhaus is a German standard for highly insulated and airtight homes that require no active heating or cooling. That is what architects Helen and Chris Seymour-Smith have built for themselves in the Cotswolds. They wanted to put their money where their mouths are and demonstrate to people that it can be done. They have achieved England's first certified passivhaus. See the Seymour Smith's blog for more information.

The Seymour-Smith's passivhaus is featured in the October edition of 'Grand Designs' magazine and in the new series of the Channel 4 programme presented by Kevin McCloud to be broadcast on Wednesday 22 September, 9.00 pm on Channel 4.

In terms of energy usage, without the need for heating, that leaves electricity for ventilation, lighting and appliances. Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery is essential in a home as well insulated and airtight as a passivhaus needs to be. Solar thermal panels and a small wood-burning stove are used to heat water. So that leaves the electricity.


Ecoliving supplied 16 Schuco solar photovoltaic (PV) panels each with a peak output of 190 Watts. With a total output of 3 kilowatts peak (kWp), the net financial gain per annum is anticipated to be in excess of £1,000. This includes Feed in Tariff payments for every kWh generated (36.1p/kWh) and an additional 3p/kWh exported to the grid as well as the savings on electricity that doesn't have to be purchased. The Feed in Tariffs will continue at this level for 25 years and any rise in the price of electricity will see the net annual financial gain increase.

Ecoliving South Midlands territory director, Steve Knowles, comments, "What the Seymour-Smiths have achieved gives a glimpse into the future. By 2016 all new builds in the UK will need to be built to this standard if we have any chance of achieving Level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes which stipulates a zero carbon standard. The design capability and technology exists today. The biggest challenge is surely the cultural shift towards the new level of detail and supervision on site that attaining this standard demands." 

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Ecoliving is a specialist provider and award winner of micro-renewable energy solutions - heat pumps, biomass boilers, combined heat and power (CHP), underfloor heating, solar and wood burning stoves. We also offer service, repair and maintenance.

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