The ESS solution is being applied to Whisper Valley to meet a growing demand by energy-conscious homebuyers who seek to lock in lower costs for energy by employing ground-source geothermal technology for heating and cooling the home together with solar energy generation. Combining geothermal with solar is the most effective way to achieve Net Zero energy use.
Whisper Valley homeowners will incur no upfront costs for the geothermal system, as the ground loop infrastructure is pre-installed throughout the community. Homeowners will enjoy peace of mind with an extended warranty and no maintenance costs for the first three years. Their energy costs will be fixed at approximately $175 a month, which covers the costs of the geothermal infrastructure equipment, a solar PV system, LED-Lighting package, appliances and other technologies, and includes a maintenance service. With a combined geothermal-solar system, many buildings can achieve Zero Net Energy status, and a homeowner’s utility-supplied energy use will be minimal to none as they return excess solar-generated energy to the grid. The savings in utility electricity costs will be equal to or greater than the monthly ESS energy fee. The EcoSmart program delivers the value of energy efficient technologies without requiring upfront costs for the homeowner or builder.
Helping Austin become Net Zero
Located in Austin’s “Preferred Development Zone” east of downtown and adjacent to State Highway 130, homes in Whisper Valley will initially be priced between $175,000 and $300,000 including the EcoSmart Program.
Austin was selected for the development of this smart energy community because of a number of characteristics, including cost of land, housing demand within the nation’s fastest growing city, a vibrant economy led by IT and technology companies and a mandate to meet a Net Zero Standard with all new construction. Austin has established a 2050 target to reduce carbon emissions to zero.
Smart, Sustainable Suite of Solutions
Bosch geothermal heat pumps will be connected from each home to an underground heat-exchange-loop infrastructure system, consisting of geothermal boreholes that utilize the earth’s stored energy from the sun. As ground and water temperatures several feet below the earth’s surface remain constant throughout the year, geothermal energy is one of the most effective and cost-efficient renewable forms of energy. Whisper Valley homes will also utilize Bosch heat-pump hot water heaters to supply whole house hot water, further leveraging the benefits of a geothermal solution.
Community homes will also include an array of ENERGY STAR® rated kitchen appliances from Bosch. Known as the definitive European kitchen design brand, the award-winning Bosch portfolio uses sleek, European design and the latest in green technology to meet the needs of every lifestyle, including those interested in efficient appliances in a well designed package. With a product lineup that includes ENERGY STAR rated dishwashers, washers and refrigerators and ventilation, Bosch is the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for Appliances in 2009 and 2010 and is proud to be recognized with the Sustained Excellence Award on 2001, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
For more information on Whisper Valley, visitwww.WhisperValleyAustin.com.