As energy prices continue to rise, many homeowners are seeking ways to reduce their monthly bills. For one new homeowner who will soon live in a solar house, those energy bills will become a thing of the past.
Lakiya Culley of Washington, D.C. will receive one of the 20 solar-powered homes designed by groups of college architecture students for the Solar Decathlon, an annual event held in the nation's capital and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.
While the homes in the decathlon have been prohibitively expensive for homeowners in the past, some costing more than $800,000, this year's competition added a caveat: homes had to stay within Habitat for Humanity's budget for new home construction. The Empowerhouse, which will become Ms. Culley's new home, was made by a team from Parsons Design School and cost just $230,000 to build.
After its time in the Solar Decathlon display comes to an end, the Empowerhouse will be moved by Habitat for Humanity to Southeast Washington, D.C., where it will become Ms. Culley's permanent home.
“I think that there is a misperception that green design and energy efficiency has to be expensive and I think what's important is to bring this forward to everyone because it's not just elitist and for those of us who have money." - Parsons design student Amanda Waal
1. Where does solar energy come from?
2. What do people use energy for in their homes? What do you use energy for every day?
3. Why do you think energy costs continue to rise?
1. What was the most interesting or surprising solar home feature you saw in this video? Why did it surprise you?
2. If solar homes are becoming affordable, why do you think more people don't have them?
3. How do you think solar homes work even in places where the sun doesn't shine all the time?