This £15,000,000 seven-bed stately home has zero energy bill costs 


It used to cost the owners £100k to heat the property (Picture: Shutterstock/Nigel Jarvis)

How much do you pay for electricity?

Novelist Giles Keating must be on Santa’s nice list this year, as he prepares to celebrate Christmas in his net zero home.

Giles bought Athelhampton House in Dorset in 2019, for a reported £7million.

However, the seven-bedroom property’s energy costs were already amounting to £55,000, doubling a year and later to a staggering £100,000 after the war in Ukraine broke out. 

But now the Tudor mansion, which is a Grade I listed property, has had an eco-retrofit, and it now costs nothing to heat. 

It wasn’t an easy process for Giles — he and architect Stefan Pitman introduced carbon-neutral heating gradually over a five-month period.

They replaced oil burners, gas ovens and boilers with air-source heat pumps and Tesla Powerwall batteries.

It will cost nothing for Giles to heat his home this Christmas (Picture: Facebook)

The home was originally heated using LPG (liquid petroleum gas) and kerosene, which amassed a carbon footprint of more than 100 tons a year.

Each room can now be heated up to 21C. When first installing the heating, Giles and Stefan approached it one room at a time.

Tesla batteries have been set up in the home (Picture: Facebook)

‘For the more historic rooms we’ve reused the earlier Victorian trench heaters,’ Stefan told The Times. ‘The limecrete [an alternative to concrete] floors are insulated with recycled blown glass. They act as an anti-capillary for damp, should the moisture levels rise. We’re near a flood zone after all.’

There are also 100 kilowatts of solar PV (photovoltaics) which have been installed in a water meadow near the main house.

Solar panels help heat the home (Picture: Facebook)

And while Giles can now energy zero cost energy bills, the eco-fit cost him a pretty penny – it took two years and a quarter of a million pounds to make the home carbon neutral.

And while the home is now better preserved, Giles hasn’t found a solution for an all together different problem: the mansion has a ghost.

‘We had some Tudor reenactment people stay the night recently in the four-poster beds and they couldn’t believe how comfortable and warm it was,’ he said.

‘They did complain about the ghosts, but that’s just the way it is.’

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