The home's energy costs for heating, lighting, hot water and cooking is a mere $22 a year, or $2 a month.
The perks of investing in renewable technologies exceed benefiting the environment. Installing solar, for instance, can also reduce living costs long-term. Considering housing prices continue to increase, such is undoubtedly a worthwhile investment. Colin Usher, the director of UK-based John McCall Architects, certainly thinks so.
Two years ago, Usher decided to design a minimalistic home that has a low impact on the environment. After consulting with his wife and agreeing to make the abode spacious with plenty of light, Usher developed an exceptionally well-insulated home that is oriented for optimum solar gain. Using German Passivhaus principles as a baseline, the architect constructed a home that, two years later, costs $2 a month to run.
Inhabitat reports that the West Kirby home was expected to be inexpensive to run but actually performs four times better than a standard Passivhaus home. The architects wrote on their website, “The house has now been occupied for 2 years and the energy cost for heating, lighting, hot water and cooking was less than £15 per year for this period.” That translates to a mere $22 a year, or $2 a month.
Due to the home’s rooftop solar array which generates 3338 kWhrs of clean energy, most of the annual energy consumption of 3453 kWhrs is completely offset. And, that’s in the UK, a location not known for abundant sunshine.
“This uncomplicated building uses a combination of tried and tested construction techniques along with some modern heating and ventilation technology to give very good performance and exceptionally low running costs,” wrote the architects. “It is a lovely house to live in with high ceilings and comfortable spaces. It was not expensive to construct.”
In total, it cost $358,000 to build the home. While that’s not cheap, it is pertinent to note that the investment easily pays itself off over time. And, as solar panels become cheaper, developing homes such as this one will undoubtedly become an easier — as well as more economical — task.
Following are photos of the airy abode which costs just $2 a month to run:
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