The new series kicks off with how energy efficiency can become an eyesore

This terrace of four Code Level 6 homes completed in autumn by Metropolitan Housing illustrates the challenge to the potential resident posed by the principle of microgeneration underpinning higher levels of the energy ratings system. The battery of kit required to make each home a net generator of power lends the dwellings a dauntingly mechanical aesthetic. Metal cowls ventilating the properties are eye catching, but when combined with banks of solar panels and wind turbines the combined effect is overpowering.

Throw in the architect Bill Dunster's trick of turning the first metre or so of the floor plan into a glazed box which the resident is expected to micromanage to milk passive solar gain and the houses are worryingly unfamiliar for far too many. The houses were being marketed at a little over the £250k stamp duty threshold which of course, their Code rating would exempt them from. In spite of the stamp duty break and the potential to be selling tens of thousands of pounds of electricity back to the grid, these homes have gone the same way as the rest of the market.

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