What is an energy neutral home? What are the benefits? The costs? What are the choices? What does it look like? And is the quality of living really better? House of Energy is an extensive book that answers all of these questions for home owners and contractors. It specifically focuses on house renovations, but can be used for new construction as well. Except and TNO have made an inspiration book to introduce interested house owners and construction professionals to energy neutral building and renovation. A book filled with examples, inspiration, interviews, tips and technical details: a book filled with energy!

Download the book for free on this page, or order it from Bol.com. The book was commissioned by the   SEV Energiesprong (‘Energy Leap’) program.

Background and Details

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

On average, a household uses 1600 m3 of natural gas and 3500 kWh of electricity per year, which costs about 1750 euro. Energy prices have soared by about 85 percent between 2000 and 2010.

This increase is expected to continue. Also, the use of fossil fuels is detrimental to global climate and local air quality. There are thus good reasons to make homes more energy efficient, both for the environment and for cost control.


Goal and audience

This document is made for (future) home owners and construction professionals that are interested in very energy efficient construction and renovation. The first half of the publication expressly targets the home owner, the second half focuses more on the needs of construction professionals. The first part is more exploratory in nature and shows a number of strategies for energy neutral living. These strategies are further developed and modelled in the more technical second part.

With this publication we portray what it means for a house to be ‘energy neutral’. This means that a house produces as much energy in the immediate surroundings of the home as it uses within that same perimeter. This is a significant step beyond ‘energy efficient’.


One of the example illustrations in the book House of Energy,  the high tech variant.

Quality of living

An energy neutral home offers many opportunities to radically improve living conditions in the home. Both today and in the long term. Certainly, it is more difficult to build an energy neutral home than it is to build a standard home, mostly because only very few people are experienced in this new field. In addition, a poorly executed energy enutral home may negatively affect quality of housing, which we'd like to help prevent.

That is the reason for this publication. We hope it contributes to 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

  • sev_profile_logo.jpg
  • TNO_zwart_partner_logo.jpg

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