We all can see the growing attention to the idea of net-zero-energy buildings. The reason is that if we want to achieve sustainability, the buildings can not just consume but at some point they have to give something back.
If we ask 10 different people in the building industry we will get 10 different definitions of zero energy buildings. We have to respect this point while talking about the future of this idea in general.
We have already mentioned the future of zero energy buildings in Europe, where it is planned that after 31 December 2018 all new buildings produce as much energy as they consume on-site.
The situation in California is very similar where new homes will need to be zero net energy by 2020 and this zero energy standard will apply to new commercial buildings by 2030.
Also General Electric presented its plan of net-zero energy homes. They will combine on-site power generation with on-site storage and energy efficient appliances.
The following technologies will be used to generate power on-site:
- Solar Photovoltaic: 3 kW – 4kW sollar array on the roof
- Small wind: supplementary renewable generation
- Heat pump water heater: uses less than half the energy of a conventional water heater
- Geothermal heat pump
These technologies will be supported with energy efficient appliances , energy monitoring devices and energy storages.