Siemens Aids in an Extreme Home Makeover

An extreme effort by Siemens Industry Inc. delivered an end-to-end solar photovoltaic (PV) energy system to ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition build site in Cocoa Beach, Fla. during the week of January 10th.

A last-minute call from Florida-based general contractor Lifestyles Builders on December 21st prompted managers from the Building Technologies Division’s Low Voltage business to quickly marshal the resources and technologies necessary to help create the show’s first zero-net energy home, which will be revealed to the Hurston family and the show’s millions of viewers February 13th.

“Siemens is thrilled to have been asked to play such a significant and supporting role,” said Barry Contrael, director, Siemens Low Voltage Business Unit. “I can’t think of a more deserving family, and to anyone familiar with the program, the Hurston’s lives will be changed forever in a very positive and meaningful way.”

To deliver the system within the show’s 106-hour build window, Siemens enlisted the help of local solar-power contractor Solar Energy Systems of Brevard Inc. For its part, Siemens donated all the technologies and materials necessary to install the 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 feet of space.

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 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.

“We are so proud to have built a net zero home, and I think that’s just a neat thing for the family,” said Diane Korman, senior producer of Extreme Makeover Home Edition. “Siemens stepped up to provide the 9.6 kilowatt system, to achieve net zero—and for Siemens to come through in the timeframe and make something like this happen is incredible, it’s an amazing thing."

Check your local listings to tune in to the broadcast of this episode Sunday, February 13, on ABC.

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