January 25th, 2011
The energy system design for the Simpatico Prototype Home qualifies it as a Net Zero Energy residence. Simply put, a Net Zero Energy home is one that produces as much energy as it consumes. This means that the Prototype will be self-sufficient with its electric, hot water and space heating needs. (This system has the added bonus of eliminating any need for natural gas in the home, highlighted in the posting An Introduction to Induction.)
The Net Zero Energy goal will be accomplished by combining 30 solar panels on the roof with a high-efficiency electric heat pump, passive solar architecture, and extremely efficient fixtures and appliances. This system will allow the home to “sell back” excess energy it generates during sunny days and to purchase energy like any other home during nights and cloudy days. Over the course of a year, the power bills should achieve a net zero energy equilibrium.
With rapidly declining solar install costs and aggressive federal and state credits/rebates, the projected payback on this system is only 3-1/2 years. To learn more about how this Net Zero Energy system works, please visit our design partners at www.NetZeroEnergyCertified.com.