Published on October 7th, 2014 | by James Ayre13
SunPower + KB Home Partnership Results In “Double Net Zero Energy” Home
October 7th, 2014 by James Ayre
“Double zero energy” homes? What the hell are those? What does that mean? Well, I guess that we are soon going to find out, thanks to an ongoing partnership between the solar manufacturer & developer SunPower and the homebuilder KB Home, which will apparently now bring them to us.
According to the information provided so far, these “double zero energy” homes are essentially just homes with energy storage and solar PV systems. But there must be more to it than that, right?
And there is. Building on the concept of a net zero energy home, the “Double ZeroHouse 3.0” adds to it with the addition of “net zero” water consumption, amongst other things. “Net zero water consumption” in this case refers to extensive water recycling — the reuse of water from dishwashing and other activities for non-potable uses such as toilet flushes, etc. Despite the moniker, though, this isn’t true “net zero water consumption” — according to those involved, up to 70% of the fresh water used can be “saved” in this way.
Better than nothing certainly, but not quite what’s being claimed when the words “net zero” are used. Oh well. “Sales talk,” I suppose.
The new homes will also have a connection to Ford, whose smart energy management system can communicate with the Ford C-Max Energi (a plug-in hybrid electric car). And they will use energy-efficient appliances from Whirlpool. The Ford connection is related to the Ford MyEnergi Lifestyle program that we’ve covered previously. The program allows homeowners to shift their electricity usage in order to take advantage of the cheapest electricity prices in time-of-use electricity plans.
SunPower chief executive officer Tom Werner, regarding the new partnerships, stated: “The value proposition in the near term is battery backup and KB Homes is quite a progressive company. Some of the things we’ve talked about are in the early stages of developing with KB Homes. So expect more from that relationship. It may not mean that much (to an international audience) but there are production home builders in the US, of which the top 10 probably produce 80% of the homes in America, and KB Homes is one of those. So it’s a meaningful company that we’re partnered with in California.”
Image Credit: SunPower