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A “Zero Energy Home” or “Net Zero Energy Home” is a building designed and constructed in such a way that its energy consumption for heating, cooling, lighting, and other electrical needs is very low or even zero. Typically, Zero Energy Homes aim to be highly energy-efficient and utilize renewable energy sources to meet the remaining energy demands.
Energy independence is achievable, but it is easier to attain when combined with an exceptionally energy-efficient home, such as a Passive House. This is because Passive Houses have very low energy needs, allowing them to cover these needs with minimal energy consumption. Therefore, installing photovoltaic systems, geothermal systems, wind turbines, or any other renewable energy sources becomes more effective when the initial energy consumption is low.
Furthermore, using efficient insulation materials and ventilation systems in a Passive House helps reduce the need for heating and cooling, making it even easier to achieve energy independence through renewable energy sources. This is particularly important as reducing energy consumption is a key goal for environmental protection and lowering energy bills.
The three key pillars used to create a Zero Energy Home are:
Excellent Insulation: The building must have highly effective thermal insulation in the walls, roof, windows, and floors to reduce heat loss and cooling.
Renewable Energy Sources: Zero Energy Homes often use renewable energy sources such as solar power through photovoltaic systems for electricity generation and solar thermal systems for water heating.
Ventilation and Climate Control:Ventilation and climate control systems are designed to be highly efficient and maintain thermal comfort with minimal energy consumption.