More On Energy Neutral Homes – Which is not the same as Carbon Neutral

Trying to keep my mind off the Gulf….lalalalalalala

Green Tech

The Energy-Neutral Home

Kerry A. Dolan, 11.06.09, 03:30 PM EST

Turning a historic house into an energy sipper.


BURLINGAME, Calif. — You might think that a home using zero net energy would be chilly inside. I visited one last night, and it wasn’t. It was a pleasant 72 degrees.

The Palo Alto, Calif., home owned by Marc Porat, an IT-turned-clean-tech entrepreneur, is a showcase of the latest technologies that can be used to ratchet down the amount of energy that homes consume. Porat, who has founded three companies that are developing better, greener building materials–including window and drywall maker Serious Materials–wanted to walk the talk with his own home, a historic 1936 home designed by architect Pedro de Lemos.

A net zero energy house produces as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year. Porat turned to San Francisco home energy retrofitter Sustainable Spaces (which will rename itself Recurve next week) to do the job, which took about two years. Sustainable Spaces’ Adam Winter says that by putting in dense-pack cellulose wall insulation (made from ground up newspapers), changing the heating and air conditioning system to an air-to-water heat pump, improving the ventilation and lighting systems and adding windows that insulate better, his team was able to reduce the amount of energy the home uses by 62%.



Dutch Energy Neutral Homes

In the Netherlands, the Dutch have designed new energy neutral homes that actually give back more power to the grid than they consume. This is all being done to reduce man’s impact of climate change on the Earth. In my opinion, more ecological home’s should be built anyway to reduce the harmful effects of pollution from dirty energy sources including coal. Home’s like this one are just the start of a new “green revolution” as the planet realizes that it can no longer take more than it gives back.

All over the world including the UK, the US, even China are starting to see the benefits of going green. Once our grid is capable of supporting more energy neutral or energy returning homes, our generation can only begin to transform. Green technologies and green industries are the economic future of this planet as well. Having less pollution in our atmosphere will almost certainly reduce many types of cancers and other ailments that currently plague the world.

Wouldn’t you like to live in an energy neutral home? I say…sign me up!


More on Monday


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