The Energy Producing Home is one of the first 'out of the box' net-zero carbon emitting houses available in the U.S.
If you're like me, when you hear the words "net zero house" you conjure up images of Earthships built from old tires and soda cans full of dirt, or funky-looking modernist homes that look they could be straight out of that SNL sketch, The Schoeners. But the Energy Producing Home built by Neumann Companies in Wisconsin is different.
Well, by different, I mean it looks like any other suburban house. But unlike any other suburban home, it has the ability to produce 100 percent of the energy needed to heat and cool the home, run all of the electric appliances and even have enough left over to power an electric vehicle to and from the homeowners' workplace.
The EP also has a geothermal heating and cooling system and solar domestic hot water.
"We have to change the way we build homes today,” said Mark Neumann, co-owner of Neumann Developments, Inc. “Energy costs have fluctuated drastically in the last year, buildings are the top contributor of greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on foreign oil has increased by 50 percent since 1970"
"Our goal is to lead by example, the EP Home demonstrates what is available to every American right now – the ability to control their energy costs, whether its natural gas, electrical rates or gasoline, in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Neumann.
The projected electrical use of the home is approximately 17,168 kWh per year (a figure that includes the amount of energy required to commute to and from work. In this case a local hospital was used as for the calculation). The PV system is anticipated to produce approximately 19,324 kWh per year and the surplus will be sold back to the local utility company.