COCOA, Fla., April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- 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, at first, 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.
"In our former home, we still had a pretty high energy bill just because it was broken down and it didn't have insulation, and just to keep it cool, the power bill was $300, $400 a month," explained the mother, Cynthia Hurston. "But right now, on average, per month, our savings so far, even with the short, cloudy winter days, has been about $250 a month."
Importantly, the family has been able to provide more support for water purification efforts in Haiti, through their charitable organization Air Mobile Ministries. "Living in this home for a couple of months, we appreciate every bit of electricity that we don't have to pay for that's coming straight from the sun and from the wind," said Hurston. "We know that every dollar that we save on power is going to go down the road and save someone's life through us being able to do our water purification," she highlighted.
That's not to say that this modest family is not continuing to be careful with its electricity usage. As Hurston reiterates, "I'm very aware of our electricity usage now that we're really trying to get the goal of net zero, so I'm watching the kids and making sure the TV's not on overnight, that the air conditioning is not on, you know, too cool. I'm watching things, making sure the lights are off when we leave. I am definitely watching the power usage."
To learn more behind the scenes, view the Interactive News Release: http://inr.synapticdigital.com/siemens/NetZero
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 (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 ft. footprint.
"What was extremely exciting was the fact that Siemens was able to deliver a solar energy solution that is flexible and affordable and ready to be installed on virtually any home in America," said Barry Contrael, director, Siemens Low Voltage Business Unit. "This home is on-track to get to Net-Zero within the year. . . and I can't think of a more deserving family, or a better way to apply energy savings."
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. To view a brief video of Siemens' contribution to the build, click here.
Critical to the 9.6 kW PV system was the implementation of Siemens microinverters that will revolutionize the way solar PV solutions are implemented for home and small business owners. Microinverters provide a modular, scalable platform to connect roof-mounted solar PV modules with a typical residential, commercial, or institutional building's alternating current (AC) load center or panel board. Siemens microinverters offer a simple and compelling solution to complex system implementation problems and safety issues associated with the direct current (DC) output of solar modules. For more information on Siemens microinverters, click here.
Extreme Makeover Home Edition
The Emmy award winning reality program Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, now in its 8th season, is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. It's executive-produced by Brady Connell and George Verschoor. David Goldberg is Chairman, Endemol North America. The show airs Sundays from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET on ABC.
Air Mobile Ministries
Air Mobile Ministries is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that does disaster relief all around the world. Since its inception in 1978, AMM has traveled around the world many times bringing medical supplies, food, clothing, and now the Air Mobile Rescuer water purifier to those in need. Joe Hurston and his team of volunteers have worked to help disaster victims after hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes and war. To learn more about their efforts, please visit: http://airmobile.org/about-us.php
Siemens Industry, Inc. is the U.S. affiliate of Siemens' global Industry Sector business—the world's leading supplier of production, transportation and building technology solutions. The company's integrated hardware and software technologies enable comprehensive industry-specific solutions for industrial and infrastructure providers to increase their productivity, sustainability and profitability. The Industry Sector includes six divisions: Building Technologies, Industry Automation, Industry Solutions, Mobility, Drive Technologies and Osram Sylvania. With nearly 204,000 Siemens Industry Sector employees worldwide, the Industry Sector posted a worldwide profit of $4.7 billion on revenues of $47.3 billion in fiscal 2010. www.usa.siemens.com/Industry
A division of Siemens Industry, Inc., Building Technologies is a leading provider of energy and environmental solutions, building controls, electrical distribution equipment, fire safety and security systems solutions. Building Technologies provides a full range of services and solutions from more than 100 locations coast-to-coast, enabling America's buildings to be more comfortable, secure and environmentally friendly as well as less costly to operate. Worldwide, it has nearly 42,000 employees and operates from more than 500 locations in 51 countries. The Building Technologies Division posted worldwide revenues of $9.3 billion in fiscal 2010. www.usa.siemens.com/buildingtechnologies