Germany’s on the war path to be the most accomplished practitioner of renewable energy. They’re not only thinking of ways to become less reliant on fossil fuels, but actually implementing them (a novel concept, right?).
The Efficiency House Plus is a prototype unveiled by officials in Berlin. This home isn’t only built from recycled materials, but is energy-efficient, and self-sustaining–complete with an electric charging station for EVs. A family of volunteers will be chosen to stay in the house for 15 months to show that energy efficient, sustainable homes can (and do) exist in real world applications.
The first goal of this sustainable house is to produce twice as much energy needed by a family of four. The average American household uses about 958 kilowatt hours per month (11,496 kWh/year), according to the Energy Information Administration. Since the general Germany population seems to be more energy conscious, I’m going to guesstimate their energy usage at about 583 kilowatt hours per month (~7,000 kWh/year). At 14,000 kWh a year, the house can produce even more energy than used by the average American household!
There is a second underlying goal which I think is important to point out, and that is that the house uses solar, as well as energy management techniques to not only power the house, but provide enough energy for EVs, or to be sold back to the grid. Solar and energy management strategies aren’t new concepts–it’s important to show people that the technology to achieve a sustainable house is readily available to put in to practice now. It’s already possible to live like this; it’s not a Utopian dream of the future. The Efficiency House Plus will set the bar for efficiency measures that can be implemented by the masses.
The Efficiency House Plus not only has charging stations, but the volunteer family will be able to drive an EV from Germany’s four leading car manufactures (including Audi and BMW) for three months each.
As the Federal Minister of Building, Dr Peter Ramsauer, put it they’re keeping with the idea, ‘my home is my filling station’. With such strong support from auto manufacturers, the government, and the public, the Energy Efficiency House Plus will indeed meet the “fuel” needs of the EVs and the home’s energy needs, while showing the world that energy efficient homes can do more than be a topic of conversation; they can produce enough energy for our vehicles and potentially enough energy to return to the general grid. In the previous post, I mentioned how important cooperation is to achieve renewable energy goals, and The Efficiency House Plus shows once again, that Germany has a knack for getting things done, even while juggling political, industry, and public interests.
And who wouldn’t want a house that could power your car?