Wednesday, June 07, 2006



Zero Energy Home reaches "Affordable Range", says the story by Discovery Channel

Hmm... Couple of words I am not liking:

'Zero Energy' and 'Affordable'

How can anything run off of zero energy?

Although all of these components work together to reduce the home's overall energy consumption, a zero-energy home must generate its own power. To this end, Ideal Homes installed rooftop solar panels, which produce approximately 6,600 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.

During months when the house needs more energy, it draws it from the local power grid. But during months when it is producing more electricity than it needs, it transfers the energy back into the grid for a credit.

At the end of the year, the home's energy bills averages zero.

Apparently, under $200,000 is the "affordable" range.

So, what is it that they aren't telling us? If this is so great, what's the catch? There are problems with every structure and design. Just look at the hybrid-cars and the green, eco-friendly buildings, they have their problems, just as much as any other structure. What are we missing here?

So far the home, built in September 2005, is living up to its claim.

"It's saving about 85 percent [of the] energy from the builder's normal product, which is already better than code," said Ron Judkoff, director of the Buildings and Thermal Systems Center at the NREL.

Ideal Homes is currently renting out their zero-energy home in order to retain rights to study its performance over time. Knowledge they gain from this house will go into incorporating energy-efficient technology into their mainstream production.

So, I guess they are still studying it. Not zero to you or me, but zero on the bill.

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