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Passive House Energy Savings

If you’re dreaming of a home that’s the ultimate in energy efficiency, take a look at the Passive House standard. 

By Ed Welch

Stuart Rue and Sarah Evans’ Passive House in Salem, Ore., features high-performance windows and doors, more insulation and a more extensive ventilation system. Below is a breakdown of the home’s estimated heating savings. Learn more about this building technique in Serious Energy Savings With Passive House Design.


Total square feet  1,885
Built cost  $159 per sq. ft.
Specific space heat demand  4.08 kBTU per sq. ft./year
Level of insulation  Walls: R-44.1
Floor: R-50.8
Roof: R-95.7
Window U-factor  0.105 and 0.178
Total energy consumption  22.8 kBTU per sq. ft./year
Estimated savings per year in heating bills alone!  More than $800




Estimated Annual Heating Savings 


Heating Energy Used Per Year 

Estimated Cost of Winter Heating 

Average home 11,800 kwh¹ $990²
Rue-Evans home 2,250 kwh $154³
Total savings  9,550 kwh  $836 



Note that heating savings can be expected to increase each year with inflation and rising energy prices.
1 = Energy Information Administration (EIA), 2005 (most recent)
2 = EIA, 2011 (any fuel)
3 = Assumes electric heat at 7 cents/kwh

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