Zero bill homes

In a move to meet the growing demand for sustainable living, Hopkins Homes has partnered with Octopus Energy to offer the first-ever Zero Bills homes in Suffolk. 

New house and blue skies

What is a Zero Bill home? 

‘Zero Bills’ is a world-first smart tariff that allows customers to move into homes that are fully kitted out with green technology and with no energy bills, guaranteed. The homes at Church View, Bramford use photovoltaic panels and a home battery to harness the sun’s resources to generate clean energy.  This tech is connected to Octopus Energy’s technology platform, Kraken, which optimises their energy usage to deliver a zero bill.   

The idea of a sustainable home is important in the context of global challenges like climate change and rising energy costs. By significantly reducing the use of fossil fuels and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, these homes contribute directly to lessening the impact of climate change through renewable sources such as solar or wind.

Furthermore, as energy costs escalate, a Zero Bills home offers homeowners’ economic certainty in a fluctuating market. This dual advantage highlights the importance of zero-energy homes as both environmentally and financially sound investments in today’s energy landscape. 

How does it work? 

Each home comes with green technology installed throughout the house.  

  1. Air source heat pump – a heat pump that will absorb heat from outside the home and then release it within the home. 
  1. Thermally efficient insulation – insulating materials and construction techniques that reduce heat transmissions between two spaces (e.g. between the interior and exterior). 
  1. Integrated photovoltaic panels – these solar panels are built into the building’s materials as opposed to the standard solar panels that are found mounted on roofs. Integrated PVs function as part of the building envelope whilst generating electricity. 
  1. Battery storage – lithium-ion batteries are used to store energy generated from PV panels during periods of sunlight, providing a reliable energy storage solution. 
  1. Underfloor heating – a system beneath the floor which emits heat upwards, providing efficient and comfortable heating for a room. 
  1. Wastewater heat recovery system – this technology works by taking heat from wastewater such as bath water to preheat cold water.  
  1. Increased cavity to 150mm with blown cavity wall insulation – increased cavity walls with blown cavity wall insulation and supertherm lintels offer a fabric-first approach to energy-efficiency. 
  1. Argon-filled double glazing – as it is heavier than air, argon gas-filled windows provide far superior insulation, improving energy costs and reducing condensation. 

Why choose a Zero Bill home? 

With the name Zero Bill, there are many financial benefits to owning one of these homes. The Watt A Save report claims that whilst energy costs are slowly decreasing, the uncertainty of costs seen in the last few years has ‘only solidified the importance of an energy efficient and low-cost home.’  

Based on the Ofgem price cap in January 2024, the Home Builders Federation (HBF) found that new build homes in general emit 61% less carbon each year, with the average new build home powered by 55% less energy.  That’s an annual saving of more than £2,200. 

With all the homes at Church View, Bramford being built to Part L regulations, already saving homeowners close to £2,600 on their annual energy bills, the Zero Bills homes go one step further to guarantee zero energy costs. 

While these homes feature high-tech innovations that might elevate the initial purchase price, they offer substantial environmental benefits and the appeal of stable, predictable financial outgoings that give the homeowner peace of mind in today’s uncertain climate.  

Decreased commitment to monthly expenses

Ideal for easing the financial planning for retirees and those looking to decrease their commitment to monthly expenses, the Zero Bills homes underline a commitment to sustainability, whilst providing cost certainty, a vital consideration given recent fluctuations in energy prices. 

Simon Gabbitas, Group ESG Director for Hopkins Homes, said: “As the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, we are delighted to join forces with Octopus Energy to offer drastically reduced home running costs for our customers.

Not only will this partnership deliver cost certainty to homeowners in a volatile energy market, but we believe it will also help to positively impact how people live sustainably in their homes across the UK.  

At Hopkins Homes, we are committed to reducing carbon emissions and exploring new ways to incorporate cutting-edge technology, materials, and designs into our developments to boost energy efficiency. We are looking forward to future partnerships and initiatives that continue to put both people and the planet at the heart of our developments.”