The performance, monitored over 2 years, of side by side detached Welsh Passive Houses is presented. The houses which differ in terms of glazed area, their use of thermal stores, area of installed PV and occupant behaviour, provide a valuable insight into different strategies to achieve low and near zero low carbon performance in social housing. Dwelling 1 and Dwelling 2 achieved average net annual carbon emissions of 9.4 kg/m2, 24.0 kg/m2, approximately 13%, 33% of a typical “building stock” UK house. The risk of summer time overheating in the dwellings with different glazed areas is analysed in depth. Dwelling 1 certified to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6 did not achieve true onsite zero carbon performance, the installed PV systems in each dwelling would need to be approximately 6 kW peak to meet this target. Occupant electricity consumption behaviour and appliance choices have a great impact on the energy performance of the houses. With current carbon intensities electricity consumption in UK passive houses needs to be limited to approximately 30% that of the current UK average household if primary energy and zero energy targets are to be achieved while limiting PV size to below 5 kW peak.
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