Most of us can only dream of adding enough solar power to our homes to offset or eliminate our electric bills.
But government researchers have built an experimental home that produces enough electricity to match what it uses in a year. Not only that, but the house is as big or bigger than many homes being built today. The price tag is a little steep: $2.7 million.
The 2,700-square-foot, three-bedroom home is on the grounds of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It’s equipped with photovoltaic panels as well as thermal panels, to produce both power and heat. It’s super-insulated, with triple- and double-pane windows and walls that are twice as thick as a typical American house.
In an article on The Atlantic Cities website, the institute’s Bill Healy was quoted as saying:
“We wanted to show that it could be done in a normal house,” says Healy, a group leader in NIST’s Energy and Environment Division. “We could have done small little pods, but we didn’t think that would really have the impact of showing what could be done in a real, American house.”
The institute is studying how all the home’s systems work together by using a “virtual family,” not a real one. Find out more about what could be the house of the future at: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/housing/2012/09/house-consumes-less-net-energy-your-little-urban-studio/3398/.