They don't call it extreme for nothing. At the last minute, ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition decided to make their featured house in Cocoa Beach, Fla., net-zero energy. The home's builder, Lifestyles Builders, called on Siemens Industry to deliver an end-to-end solar photovoltaic (PV) energy system. The company's Building Technologies Division’s Low Voltage business marshaled the resources and technologies necessary to help create the show’s first zero-net energy home—revealed to the Hurston family and the show’s millions of viewers February 13.
“Siemens is thrilled to have been asked to play such a significant and supporting role,” said Barry Contrael, director, Siemens Low Voltage Business Unit. “I can’t think of a more deserving family, and to anyone familiar with the program, the Hurston’s lives will be changed forever in a very positive and meaningful way. What was extremely exciting was the fact that Siemens was able—even within the extremely challenging timeline— to deliver a solar energy solution that is flexible and affordable and ready to be installed on virtually any home in America.”
To deliver the system within the show’s incredible 106-hour build window, Siemens enlisted the help of local solar-power contractor Solar Energy Systems of Brevard. For its part, Siemens donated all the technologies and materials necessary to install the system, including the electrical power distribution and safety equipment that delivers the system’s output to the home and connects the house to the utility’s grid. During daylight hours the system (along with a wind turbine) generates enough power to heat or cool the home and return power to the grid—no small feat considering Florida’s humid subtropical climate and the home’s 3,400 square foot plan.
This excess electricity offsets the energy consumed at night—thus making it a zero net-energy home. Ultimately, the solution, along with energy-efficient appliances, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and lighting ensure the Hurston family will find relief from their utility bills as long as they live in their custom-built and decorated four-bedroom home.
To view a brief video of Siemens’ contribution to the build, click here.