What exactly is an energy-neutral home? What are the benefits, costs, options? What does it look like? Will I have a better quality of life? Except partnered with TNO, an independent research organization, to compile and publish the House of Energy, an extensive book that answers all of these questions. The book is designed with homeowners and tradespeople in mind who are beginning to explore the world of energy-neutral living. The book is full of inspiring examples, interviews, and technical details, and tips on mainly renovation techniques, but can easily be used in new construction as well.

This book was commissioned by the SEV Energiesprong (‘Energy Leap’) program. Download a digital copy of the book for free on this page.

Background and Details

Most households in the Netherlands use natural gas and electricity to fulfill their daily energy needs. This energy is almost entirely derived from fossil fuels.

The average Dutch home uses approximately 1600 m3 of natural gas and 3500 kWh of electricity per year. This equates to approximately € 1750 in bills for the homeowner. Energy prices have soared by about 85% between 2000 and 2010 and are predicted to continue rising.

Apart from the costs, fossil fuels are non-renewable and detrimental to the global climate and local air quality. Thus, there are many good reasons - economic and environmental - why we should begin to make our homes more energy-efficient.


Goal and Audience

This document is made for current or future homeowners and construction professionals interested in energy-efficient construction and renovation.

The first half of the publication expressly targets the homeowner. It's more exploratory in nature and shows many innovative strategies for energy-neutral living.

The second half is directed more toward the needs of all types of builders and tradespeople. The strategies and designs seen in the first half are further developed and modeled in more technical detail.

  • In a nutshell, an energy-neutral home means a house that it only uses energy that it produces on the confines of the property which it is found. It's a significant and vital step beyond what we call "energy-efficient".

An example illustration of a 'high-tech' home in the House of Energy book.

Quality of Living

An energy-neutral home offers many opportunities to radically improve living conditions - both today and in the long term.

Certainly, it is more difficult to build an energy-neutral home than a standard home, mostly because only very few people are experienced in this new field. In addition to this, a poorly executed energy-neutral home may negatively affect housing quality, which we'd like to help prevent.

This is the main reason for this publication, and we hope it continues to generate more insight and interest in energy-neutral building and renovation.


An example of the energy calculations for a renovated building compared to a new building.

Want to know more? Download the full project book below.

Sept. 20, 2011

Client & Partners

Project team

  • Tom Bosschaert


  • Jacob Verhaart

    Head of Science, Industrial Ecologist

  • Gerard Vink

    Communication Strategist

  • Marten J. Witkamp

    Strategy & Communication

  • Piero Medici

    Environmental Scientist and Sustainability Designer

  • Frans Koene


  • Ernst-Jan Bakker


  • Hans Phaff


  • Wouter Borsboom


  • Ivo Opstelten

    Client Representative

  • Michiel Bakx

    Client Representative

  • Jasper van de Kerkhof

    Conciso Communicatie


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