A new year and I start talking about zero energy, that does not sound too good. But it is not about my energy or my wife’s or son’s (although we have been a bit low on energy due to all the colds and last year) but rather our house’s energy use that I am talking about. When we moved to our house in Fukuoka, my wife was very determined that we would live in a ZEH, a Zero Energy House. It took a few explanations before I understood what ZEH was, but it simply means a house that produces more electricity than it uses. So the house is supposed to be well isolated and have good windows (not the standard one glass windows), all electrical machinery and lights in the house are supposed to be low-energy, and on the roof there are solar panels to produce the equivalent amount of energy that is used. Of course we cannot only use the electricity from the solar panels since we would be very very cold on dark rainy winter days, so instead the electricity we do not use is sold and we buy what we need when the sun is not shining on our solar panels.
While it is supposed to be a net zero use, the money is unfortunately not zero. The amount we get paid is low compared to the raising energy costs, and if we really wanted to use our solar panel-electricity to its fullest potential we would need a battery to store the energy. Those batteries are still very expensive, so for now we try to be happy with focusing on consumption.
I had been following the numbers on the solar panel display with excitement as the year was drawing to an end. December is maybe the month when the net deficit is the greatest, so I watched our used energy slowly approaching our net created energy this year. Is our house really Zero Energy? As the year ended, we ended up with a little more created electricity than we had used! So as it turned out, our house is a ZEH after all. At least last year.
I hope you are safe and warm wherever you are and I wish you all the best for 2023. Happy New Year!
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2 thoughts on “zero energy”
Amazing! Since everyone is talking about energy nowadays this is a super interesting read. Congratulations to your Zero Energy House!
Thank you! Yes, talk about energy is really to be found everywhere now.