December, 2016

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Conserving Energy: Passive Homes

Conserving energy is no easy task. It’s a constant battle to stay on top of the ongoing battle to be energy efficient. Turning off the lights in empty rooms, turning down the heater, swapping older light bulbs for more efficient bulbs; these changes just aren’t enough anymore. Some homeowners are making the switch to passive or net zero homes.

Passive Home: a building that cuts its energy consumption by up to 90 percent

Net Zero Home: a building that produces as much energy into the power grid as it takes in through the use of solar energy or the like.

These homes are generally some of the most unique home designs as they utilize their surroundings in their effort to be energy efficient. In order to qualify as a passive or net zero home, they must meet strict standards. Many energy efficient features go into these homes such as triple glazed windows, but the most important of them all, is insulation. With the investment into extra layers of insulation, both for the inside of the house and for covering concrete exposures outside, the escape of any heat or variations of temperature is greatly reduced and the home is better regulated. These homes make full use of sunlight and secondary heat, and the energy from appliances, i.e. the oven and the dryer.

Passive and Net Zero homes are slowly growing in popularity throughout Europe, specifically in Germany and Scandinavia. Currently there are about 30,000 Passive and Net Zero certified buildings worldwide, with only about 130 of those structures located here in the U.S. but the numbers are growing each year. On average, the cost to build or renovate a home to be passive or net zero, is about 5-10% more upfront, but with a positive return over time.

Ready to join this growing trend? The professional electricians at EcoElectric would be happy to help with a home electrical evaluation or the installation of solar panels and other energy saving features.