Proposal Title Near Zero Energy Homes as a Resource
Category Environmental and Energy Technologies
Abstract Rural Kentucky is facing several urgent issues relevant to communities across the country—an energy-intensive housing stock; a rural electric utility system in transition; job losses from a rapidly declining coal industry; and the need to address climate change. Three million rural Americans living in pre-HUD code mobile homes spend an estimated $3.8 billion in energy bills every year and contribute to increased peak power demand. As coal-fired power plants are being retired at an unprecedented rate, rural electric co-operatives (REC), which serve 327 out of the 353 persistent poverty counties in the country, are struggling to keep power affordable while undertaking massive infrastructure upgrades. The Sustainable Workforce Affordable Power initiative aims to enable the broad-scale replacement of old, unhealthy mobile homes with near zero energy homes financed entirely through the energy savings, while reducing costs for RECs, their customers and industry. In Phase I and Phase I Matching, we test the feasibility of a combination of energy and material strategies for such a replacement home. Specifically, we will: develop a customer-directed product specification; use an integrated energy cost analysis that includes low-tech components; determine the home’s coincident peak demand; prototype a novel wall system using rurally sourced materials; assess the projected impact on rural communities; develop intellectual property assets; investigate relevant business risks and regulations; develop a detailed commercialization plan; perform an hourly simulation of the home’s HVAC system; test the thermal performance of the wall system; design a prototype home; and prototype four building components. In Phase II, we will test assemblies, further optimize the home design, build a prototype home, and develop the distribution methods. SWAP has the potential to divert billions of dollars from power plant construction into rural community use by cost-effectively improving housing stock, supporting utility viability, and creating jobs in climate mitigation.
Amount Awarded $99,993
Keywords energy efficiency, housing, net zero, power, affordable, carbon, passive house, manufacturing, electric, utilities
Point of Contact Ginger Watkins
[email protected]
ORB Technologies LLC
Location Lexington