NEW YORK -- Three months after being the lucky recipient of a new Net-Zero Energy Efficiency home, the Hurston family (who were featured on Extreme Makeover Home Edition's February 13th episode earlier this year) has learned to embrace the advanced energy efficient technologies their new home offers, and has already started using the money saved from their energy bills to further support their on-going relief efforts to provide water purification to areas of need within Haiti.
Previously forced to live between a camper and the damaged shell of their previous home, the family had been worried, about their ability to support their new state-of-the-art house – which is more than double the size of their previous home, and with many more electrical conveniences and appliances.
For its part, Siemens Building Technologies donated all the technologies and materials necessary to install the solar photovoltaic energy 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 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 ft. footprint.
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 continue to find relief from their utility bills as long as they live in their custom-built and decorated four-bedroom home.
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