A warm home for winter with low energy bills is top of everyone’s agenda. But the double whammy is being able to buy an energy-efficient home that is affordable. There are now new homes being promoted under the Government’s NewBuild HomeBuy scheme that are pioneering new ideas in energy efficiency and sustainability, and guarantee lower energy bills.
The best of these schemes is One Vale Street (0844 406 9800; www.lqgroup.org.uk) in West Norwood, where housing association L&Q, in conjunction with Lambeth council, has a striking development of 60 new houses and flats. Built of red brick with cedar cladding, the scheme is the first in London to reach Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
To achieve this, architects Stock Woolstencroft built in high levels of insulation and installed triple-glazed windows. Much of the energy is from renewable sources: the houses generate electricity from panels on the roof and every couple of weeks a large lorry feeds sweet-smelling wood pellets into the communal boiler. L&Q estimates that energy bills will be at least 25 per cent cheaper than other flats of the same size, with savings of £105 to £126 a year for a one-bedroom flat and £148 to £177 for a two-bedroom flat.
West Norwood is not the easiest area to reach, so car ownership is not discouraged. There is plentiful bike storage and a car-sharing club.
Prices for a one-bedroom flat start at £160,000, with a minimum 35 per cent share costing £56,000, and a minimum household income of £26,500 is required.
ZedSpace (020 7501 2379; www.mho.co.uk) in Croydon is another eco scheme. Near West Croydon station, all the shared-ownership flats are sold but there is a one- bedroom flat available to rent for £561 a month.
Greenacre Homes is an eco-builder working mainly for housing associations. It has built Space (0845 359 6313; www.moat.co.uk), a small development of nine one-bedroom flats in South Norwood for Moat housing association that has an eco rating of excellent. The flats are available to first-time buyers living or working in Croydon. Prices start at £130,000, with a minimum share of 25 per cent costing £32,500. Single people must earn £18,235, and couples £20,485.
Wandle Housing Association has three eco schemes. Kennington Park Square Gardens (0800 731 2030; www.wandle.com), a large Barratt development in Kennington Road, has 36 one- and two-bedroom flats in a scheme that reaches Level 3 on the Code for Sustainable Homes. Prices for a one-bedroom flat start at £215,000, with minimum 30 per cent share costing £64,500, and an income of £21,965.
And there are two eco schemes in Peckham, both being sold by Urban Moves (020 7378 7892; www.urbanmoves.com). There are a small number of one-bedroom flats left at Queensbridge, a development near Queens Road station. This development is eco-rated mainly very good, with one block rated excellent. There are solar panels, grey-water recycling and some ground-source heating in the communal parts. Prices for a one- bedroom flat start at £150,000, with a minimum 30 per cent share costing £45,000 for those with a minimum income of £18,500.
At Parkview, overlooking the green spaces of Peckham Rye, there are 37 shared-ownership, one-, two- and three-bedroom flats (first phase eco-rated very good; second phase excellent) starting at £150,000, with a minimum 40 per cent share costing £60,000 for those earning £21,965.