A ‘golden era’ of home-building?


Continuing our theme of pessimistic optimism (or is it the other way around?) we look at a syndicated column from Mary Umberger of Tribune Newspapers, titled, Utility bills?  That’s so passe“.

In the article, we discover the work of David Goswick, head of a company (HOUZE) that guarantees the buyers of its new homes that they will pay no electric or gas bills for the first 10 years, because the homes are so efficient that they will indeed have energy to sell back to the utilities!

HOUZE houses generate their own electricity with natural gas power cell which generates enough electricity to power the home, and several others. HOUZE maintains ownership of the power cell, pays the natural gas bill, and is able to sell the ‘extra’ energy back to the utility companies. The homes are thus reasonably priced for buyers, since they provide a source for ongoing income to HOUZE  in the steady-state.

The power cell is roughly the size of a traditional air conditioning unit, and can store the unused energy in back-up batteries and/or contribute it back to the electricity grid.

HOUZE has brought together many brand names (wisely) to help promote this technology.  From their press release:

Numerous leaders in the building, technology and energy industries are showing their support for HOUZE, resulting in an impressive coalition of strategic brands. Through the dedication of these companies, including AT&T, Carrier, CHASE, James Hardie, Pella, Murff Turff, and the American Gas Association, HOUZE is accelerating the transformation of the residential and commercial building industry from being one of the largest consumers of energy to zero energy buildings that consume less energy, efficiently produce on-site energy and leave a near zero carbon footprint.

So this is an example of what the builder calls a ‘golden era’ – but even if you don’t buy that it’s gold, it is at least a somewhat green expansion of the home-building industry, one that smacks of optimism.

What do you think?

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