by Tom Bosschaert

Sept. 20, 2011

Tom Bosschaert

What exactly is an energy-neutral home? What are the benefits, costs, and 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, a comprehensive book that answers all of these questions. The book is designed for homeowners and tradespeople exploring energy-neutral living. The text is full of inspiring examples, interviews, technical details, and tips on all types of construction but mainly renovations.

This book was commissioned by the SEV Energiesprong (‘Energy Leap’) program.

Download a digital copy of the book (in Dutch) for free at the bottom of this page.

Background and details

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

The average Dutch home uses approximately 1600 m3 of natural gas and 3500 kWh of electricity per year. This figure equates to around €1750 in bills for the average 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.

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

Goal and audience

This document is 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 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".


Quality of living

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

Indeed, it is more challenging to build an energy-neutral home than a typical home, mainly 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 situation is the main reason for this publication, and we hope it continues to generate more insight and interest in energy-neutral buildings and renovation.

This image shows the energy calculations for a renovated building compared to a new building.

Want to know more? Download the complete 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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