Energy Secretary Bodman Kicks
Off "Energizing America for Energy Security" Tour with Visit to
Habitat for Humanity "Net-Zero Energy Home"
WHEAT RIDGE, COLORADO – (DOE)
Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman today kicked off the
"Energizing America for Energy Security" Tour with a visit to
Habitat for Humanity’s first "true net-zero energy home" to
highlight the need to improve energy efficiency, a key component of
President Bush’s National Energy Policy (NEP). The NEP calls for
using energy wisely by increasing energy conservation and
"Increasing energy efficiency is a
critical element of the comprehensive energy legislation now before
Congress," said Secretary Bodman. "The Habitat for Humanity Zero
Energy Home is a glimpse into the future of home construction in
America. Inefficient buildings and homes waste a tremendous amount
of energy. Home energy efficiency can save families money by
reducing energy consumption."
The highly energy-efficient "true
net-zero energy" home is being built by Habitat for Humanity for Ms.
Amy Whalen and her two sons, Orlando, 6, and Angelo, 4, with
technical assistance from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building
America Program and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in
Golden, Colorado. Ms. Whalen and her sons have lived in subsidized
housing for several years. "Our current home is drafty and cold and
my energy bills have been outrageous," noted Ms. Whalen. "It’s been
such a struggle to pay the monthly bill. I’ve really had to cut
corners on other spending to manage it."
The typical American family spends
an estimated $1,500 a year on home energy bills. The zero energy
Habitat home is designed to produce as much energy as it consumes.
This home will consume less than half as much energy as an
equivalent home built with standard features. The remaining energy
needs will be met with the solar electric and hot water systems.
The home will be superinsulated,
very tightly constructed and designed for passive solar gain to
reduce heating loads. A heat-recovery ventilation system will assure
indoor air quality while recovering ventilation air thermal energy.
The home will be equipped with a solar water heating system and
solar panels to provide four kilowatts of electricity. The
grid-connected photovoltaic array is sized to produce excess energy
in the summer to balance out winter consumption, leading to net zero
annual energy consumption. Habitat will adopt many of the techniques
used in this home into its standard construction practices for
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