Friday, December 2, 2022

Low rents thanks to solar power

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Selina Gerber (24), Andreas Capoccia (35) and daughter Ayana (1) have been living in the center of Tobel TG for two years. Your new apartment offers 4.5 rooms on 110 square meters and a large balcony – for CHF 1595 including additional costs. “This price is unbeatable,” says Selina Garber. “There is nothing comparable in the region.” The reason for the low rent is astounding: “It’s because of how our settlement uses energy,” says Gerber.

The roofs and balconies of the five apartment buildings in the energy settlement in Tobel are completely covered with solar panels. Geothermal probes and heat pumps supply the 50 apartments with heat. The Minergie passive house standard ensures optimal insulation. Efficient appliances, automatic ventilation and LED lamps further reduce energy consumption.

While 80 percent of the energy is lost in conventional buildings, Tobel’s Plus-Energy Buildings (PEB) cover the entire requirement with almost no losses. What’s more, they generate massive excess electricity. The settlement consumes 129,500 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy annually, but produces 236,300kWh – a surplus of 82 percent that is fed into the grid for a fee.

“We have combined energy and economy,” says architect Giuseppe Fent (69). “Six percent higher investment than in conventional construction was enough to achieve rental prices well below average.” Fent emphasizes: “We are not do-gooders. The system is profitable.»

World record thanks to solar roof

The association Solar Agency Switzerland has presented a new study that calculates the potential of plus-energy buildings based on measured values. The numbers make you sit up and take notice: if half of all buildings in Switzerland were built or renovated according to the PEB concept, these houses would produce 127 terawatt hours (TWh) of solar power. With 80 percent PEB buildings, this even results in 435 TWh.

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