New funding model will help remove barriers to net zero energy housebuilding

Intelligent home technology provider Wondrwall has launched Energy Service Contracts (ESC) – a funded model enabling all new build homes to be net zero energy from build, without incremental costs to the housebuilder or homeowner.

In an industry-first, Wondrwall ESC provides housebuilders access to thousands of pounds worth of renewable technology at no additional cost, keeping build costs down in an environment where skills shortages, material prices, and land values are all increasing development costs.

Instead, the cost of the renewable technology is attached to the property with a fixed-price monthly service charge. The service charge has no upfront fees for the homeowner or housebuilder and includes all maintenance, energy management services and free hardware upgrades for long-term optimised energy performance and the chance to significantly reduce the homeowner’s energy bills.

Only 4% of new homes in England and Wales were built to the highest EPC A rating last year. With the majority of new builds built to EPC B (80%), Wondrwall ESC can improve SAP scores by 8 to 10 points, meaning nearly all of the UK’s low-carbon new homes built could be taken to EPC A to ensure housebuilders today aren’t building the retrofit homes of tomorrow.

Typically, housebuilders limit themselves to building homes to the environmental performance standards required by building regulations to keep costs low. Higher build costs translate to increased house prices and a tougher selling environment in a market that is already out of reach for the majority of prospective homebuyers. Wondrwall ESC hopes to redefine what is thought to be possible for new sustainable developments by being uniquely pro-industry, pro-consumer, and importantly, pro-environment.

Wondrwall is the UK’s only integrated, domestic energy solution that utilises machine learning and predictive modelling to deliver automated energy efficiencies. The AI-powered home energy management technology ‘gives the home a brain’ and the ability to control itself, for ease of use for the homeowner. By being an end-to-end solution that removes individual renewable assets from working in silo, the opportunity for low-carbon and low-cost living is maximised.

The Wondrwall solution brings together AI-powered home automation; gas-free heating options, which can include infrared heating, air source heat pump, underfloor heating, and an intelligent hot water cylinder; along with the ESC funded renewable energy technologies, including solar PV generation, hybrid inverter, battery storage and EV charging. Wondrwall recently secured a phased investment programme worth up to £100 million in 2023 to expand and reach a footprint of over 100,000 homes.

Daniel Burton, CEO and founder of the Wondrwall Group, said: 

“We need to make this decade a catalytic moment for change in the housebuilding industry. Currently, we are still building the retrofit homes of the future. Wondrwall ESC has the potential to change this. With ESC, it is like offering homeowners a self-driving electric car, for the same cost as a dirty diesel but with lower running costs.”

Housebuilders are facing some of the most challenging macroeconomic conditions in recent memory, coinciding with a deepening UK housing crisis. The race is on to create more homes, quickly, and cheaply, that are fit for the future.

Burton added: “Keeping the pressures facing housebuilders front of mind, the funded model of Wondrwall ESC is designed specifically to remove the cost barriers to net zero housebuilding. Savings that are made via energy bills allow Wondrwall to implement the ESC model. Without this model in place, housebuilders looking to create future-proofed, net-zero homes would need to pass this cost on to buyers or swallow costs themselves. The ultimate beneficiary of Wondrwall ESC, the homeowner, is the party absorbing the cost through their monthly service charge, a cost offset, and some through energy bill savings.”

Wondrwall ESC gives housebuilders the option to stay ahead of their competition by achieving their sustainability goals at no additional cost, attracting buyers with more energy-efficient and cheaper-to-run homes.

Image courtesy of Wondrwall.

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