The Loh Down On Science

Home Sweet Home

Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like a net-zero-energy home. ??

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.??

Can a typical suburban home generate all the power it needs, leaving the owner with no energy bill?  The National Institute of Standards and Technology thinks so.??

To prove it, they’ve built a four-bedroom, three-bath, two-story house using energy-efficient construction. It has power-saving appliances, a solar water-heater, and a solar photovoltaic system to generate electricity during the day.??

The house should wind up producing more energy than it needs. Extra will be sent to the local power grid via smart meters. The only time the house will draw power is when the sun doesn’t shine. Still, power sold to the grid should more than equal charges from the grid.  

??During its test year the house will be occupied by a computer pretending to be a family of four: it'll turn lights on and off, use hot water, run appliances, and emit heat like real people do.??

Now if they could only net-zero that mortgage payment!  More research is needed.

<em>The Loh Down on Science</em> is produced by LDOS Media Lab, with 89.3 KPCC Pasadena, California. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.


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