New Tech in New Homes

From concept to completion, your new home has been designed with the highest energy conservation standards. Carmichael Homes strive to build all new homes with an A-rated EPC to keep heating costs as low as possible.

Below is a list of system explanations included within most of our new homes. Please check with your site specification to confirm.

Energy Performance Certificates – EPC

An EPC is a certificate that shows how energy-efficient your property is. The document includes estimated energy costs and a summary of your home's energy performance-related features.

All new homes require an EPC and indicate the energy-efficiency grade between A and G, with A being the best and G being the worst. An A-rated home will cost you less to heat than a G-rated home.

Carmichael Homes build A-rated homes, and the average EPC rating for a home in the UK is D.


Super Insulation – U-Values

U values measure how easy it is for heat to pass through a wall or structure. The lower the number, the better. The lower the U value, the lower the amount of heat escaping through your walls, windows or floors.

Different construction methods will require different types of insulation to meet the minimum standards required. Carmichael Homes ensure that the minimum standards are exceeded where possible to ensure your home is warm all year round.

Gas boiler with Flue Gas Heat Recovery - FGHR

Flue Gas Heat Recovery is a device that sits between the boiler and flue. It collects any remaining heat in the exhaust flue gas, which otherwise would be vented into the atmosphere and wasted. This extra heat is then recycled back through the boiler to give it a head start when heating up the incoming cold water.

Flue gas heat recovery systems require very little maintenance, with no need for mains electricity.

This system increases the boiler efficiency and could save you between 37% and 50% of the gas used to heat hot water annually (Tests conducted by independent scientific test house and will vary between dwelling designs)

It also helps to reduce water usage as it can produce useful hot water quicker, meaning less lukewarm water as you turn on the tap.

Photovoltaic Solar Panels – Solar PVs

Commonly referred to as renewable energy, Solar electricity panels, also known as photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity you can use in your home.

A solar PV panel consists of many cells made from layers of semi-conducting material, most commonly silicon. When light shines on this material, a flow of electricity is created.

The cells don’t need direct sunlight and can even work on cloudy days. However, the stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is generated.

The system generates direct current (DC) electricity. Because the electricity used for household appliances is alternating current (AC), an inverter is installed along with the system to convert DC electricity to AC. This electricity can be used throughout your home.

Each dwelling is designed differently, and as a result, the total output of each array will differ; however, any PV will help to reduce your electricity bills.

An MCs certificate will be issued for each dwelling, and this is proof that your installation has been designed, installed & commissioned to the highest standards. It can also be used to get access to your energy provider's export tariff. (Export or SEG tariff is dependent on provider schemes, location and export meter installation)

Home Electrical Battery Storage

Home battery storage systems are devices that store electricity from solar panels or the grid and can be used for backup power, energy savings, or grid independence. They typically use lithium-based batteries, such as lithium-ion, lithium-iron, or LFP, which have high energy capacities and long a lifespan.

The main advantage when using battery storage is realised when coupled with PV systems. They can be charged with electricity during the day, typically when the dwelling uses the lowest amount of electrical energy. This can then be used in the early mornings and evenings when the demand is at its highest.


The battery can also be charged during the night from the grid when the cost per unit is at the lowest and used when the cost from the grid peaks during the day offering real savings to electricity bills.

Most systems can also provide power during a power cut, keeping vital appliances like fridges or freezers running and potentially internet service running.


Mechanical Heat Ventilation Recovery - MVHR

MVHR stands for mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and describes a system which supplies fresh air to rooms in your home at the same time as removing stale or unwanted air. As this happens, it reuses the heat from the extracted air to pre-heat the fresh air entering the building. Extract air and fresh air never mix, but the heat from one to the other is exchanged, resulting in warmer fresh air and a lower demand to heat your home.

The main advantages of MVHR include good indoor air quality from the continuous supply of fresh air; it eliminates Co2 peaks, air pollution and bad odours. Potential savings between 25%-50% on energy bills due to the reduced heating demand. Filtered air can help reduce or remove allergens, pollutants, insects and smells from outside. Windows in dwellings with MVHR do not need to have trickle vents that help thermal efficiency and reduce drafts.

Air or Ground Source Heat Pumps – ASHP/GSHP

ASHP or GSHP are alternatives to standard gas boilers and can provide hot water and heating to homes in the same way. They only use electricity to operate and reduce the carbon footprint significantly. Typically homes with one of these systems will not require mains gas and therefore benefit from no gas bill.

Air or ground source heat pumps do not create heat in the same way a gas boiler creates heat. Simply put, they move heat from one place to another through the vapour compression cycle (or refrigeration process) to make it more usable.

Heat from the air or ground gets absorbed into a fluid, which causes it to ‘boil’ and become a gas. The gas is then compressed, raising its temperature. The higher temperature is then transferred into the heating system (i.e. the radiators and hot water tank). The gas cools and becomes a fluid which is returned to the system to start the cycle again. This process is potentially three times more efficient than the highest-rated equivalent gas boiler system.

Plot 4 | 5 Bed | 3 Storey

Heat pump systems do not produce carbon when operating and can be combined with PV or electrical batteries to improve their efficiency further. The efficiency of a heat pump system is directly affected by the heat it can absorb from the air or ground. As the temperature in winter is lower, the efficiency drops; however, air source heat pumps can operate in temperatures as low as -20 and are used in cold climates around the world.

It should be noted that the government have set strict targets for new homes to significantly reduce the carbon footprint generated through heating and hot water use. By 2024 all new homes should have an alternative to gas boilers as the main system to provide heating and hot water, thus decarbonising new homes on the route to the net zero emissions target.

Currently, the figures show that gross consumption from renewables minus net exports, a rough guide to Scotland’s electricity generation from low-carbon sources, is 98.6%.

Plot 4 | 5 Bed | 3 Storey

Heat Batteries – Thermal Energy Store

In a domestic situation, a Thermal store would replace your traditional Hot Water Cylinder. Heat is stored and released when needed, typically for hot water and heating use. Critically thermal stores don’t actually store hot water; they hold the heat in a Phase Change Material.

A phase change material (PCM) is a substance which releases/absorbs energy as it freezes and thaws from a solid to a liquid. A PCM is capable of storing and releasing large amounts of energy quickly compared to traditional heat storage in liquid water.

That means that heat batteries have very little heat loss compared to hot water cylinders, as the PCM generally stores heat energy at a cooler temp than hot water. The space required can be up to four times smaller than the equivalent in hot water storage vessels.

The result is a thermal store that can deliver near-mains pressure hot water in a much smaller space more efficiently than an HWC typically in use in gas boiler systems.

The heat battery can be charged with any source of heat (from a boiler, ASHP, GSHP, etc) similar to an HWC but also from electricity from PV or the grid.