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“Incredibly impressed” by Exeter’s energy efficient homes

Published: 13 September 2019

Gareth Hughes MP (second left) with Rose Mason (left) at her Passivhaus home. Council Leader Phil Bialyk (middle) is joined by Chief Executive Karime Hassan and Emma Osmundsen, Managing Director of Exeter City Living

A New Zealand MP has praised Exeter’s energy-efficient house building programme.

Gareth Hughes, MP, self-funded a fact-finding trip to Exeter to find out about the city’s Passivhaus programme. He was keen to see how it could be replicated back home.

To date the City Council has built 67 Passivhaus properties, with more energy efficient properties in the pipeline. Even the eagerly-awaited St Sidwell’s Point Leisure Centre will be built to Passivhaus standards, as well as a 52-bed Extra Care Home off Topsham Road.

Passivhaus is a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building. Properties use little energy for heating, with triple glazed windows and impenetrable insulation, keeping energy bills down and reducing their ecological footprint  

Hughes was shown around a number of Exeter’s Passivhaus properties, which have been made available to people on the City Council’s waiting list.

He was given tea and a tour of one of the City Council’s first Passivhaus properties by tenant Rose Mason. Rose moved to the property in Heavitree eight years ago, downsizing from a four-bedroomed house after her husband passed away.

Afterwards, Hughes said he had learnt a lot from the trip.

“I’m incredibly impressed with what I’ve seen during my short time here,” he said.

“I will definitely be taking this learning back to New Zealand,” he added.

City Council Leader Phil Bialyk said Exeter was proud to be leading the way in delivering energy efficient homes.

“Exeter is definitely putting itself on the world map when it comes to energy efficient building. When politicians travel from the other side of the world to see what is happening in Exeter, we must be doing something right.”


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