Thursday, 18 December 2014

A passive house in Karuizawa

Another passive house in Nagano prefecture, this time in the much cooler city of Karuizawa. There are some great points in this interview. One interesting comment is about the trade off between the high installation and low running costs of low energy buildings, compared to the lower initial cost and higher running costs of buildings using fossil fuel energy. Since most people borrow money from the bank to build, the actual initial costs to the owner of the house are very low, since the bank will pay for them. Effectively there are two sets of running costs: utility bills and loan repayments. Since people in Japan can often get low-interest 35-year loans, the loan repayment is a fixed cost. On the other hand, the utility repayments, at least the fossil fuel component of them, seem very likely to rise for the foreseeable future.