£15 a year low energy house wins national energy award


A low energy home that costs just £15 a year to run has been given a national energy award…

A four-bedroom property that runs on the equivalent of a 40W light bulb has won the Buildings and Energy Efficiency Awards.

The £240,000 Passivhaus property located in West Kirby, Wirral, was built using insulated masonry and concrete. It also utilises triple-glazing, LED lighting, and an air source heat pump.

The Passivhaus property, which costs no more than £15 a year to run, is built to an ultra-low energy design standard developed in Germany in the 1980s and 90s. The Passivhaus Trust states there are currently around 37,000 homes built to this standard across the world.

Owner of the property Colin Usher is a director at Liverpool’s John McCall Architects. He designed the home for himself and his wife to live in.

Usher, who has lived in the property for two years, said the cost for heating, lighting, hot water, and cooking was “just £15 per annum”.

He added: “This is a simple building and, in effect, runs on the same amount of power used by a 40W light bulb.”

An equivalent property he recently designed to normal building regulations cost around £1,800 a year to heat, he said.


  1. an excellent outcome of good energy conservation design. I assume there is an element of solar gain use in the design and not just thermal fabric performance, Passivhaus would of course also include MVHR as air tightness would be 1 or better.
    However, the throw away comment at the end I find implausible. A 4 bed home built to current building regulations would surely not have a heating bill of £1800 per year. that sort of energy use would suggest it didn’t comply with minimum standards. I have a large 4 bed detached house built in the 1920’s and our heating bill is not that much.


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