A single family home in Nestlau SG, built according to MINERGY standard.
The Minerji family is the harbinger of a sustainable life. Energy savings of 62.6 billion kilowatt hours have been achieved since it was introduced 21 years ago.
The catch: The Minergie buildings’ ventilation systems operate on electricity. And it will be massively more expensive from next year. What does this mean for landlords and tenants who benefit from the Minergy standard?
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800,000 people in Minergie homes
“Of course, rising electricity prices also affect homeowners of Minergy homes,” says Stephen Eschi (50), a specialist in construction and energy technology for HEV, the homeowners association. How strong depends on the size and individual behavior of the building.
About 800,000 people live in a single minesweeper house in Switzerland. About half of the MENERGY-certified buildings are apartment buildings and 25 percent are single-family homes.
For a single family home with 120 square meters of living space, the energy requirement for synergy ventilation is 4500 to 5000 kilowatt hours per year. This is much more than a refrigerator, for example, which consumes about 330 kilowatt hours per year.
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house cost is increasing
On average, electricity costs across Switzerland will increase by 30 percent in 2023. The cost of electricity for mineral ventilation in a family home was about 1,000 francs a year. In 2023, the bill is expected to increase to 1,300 francs.
But that doesn’t mean that Menergy homes use more energy than others. “Among other things, MINERGY-certified buildings are better insulated than average buildings,” explains MINERGY Management Board member Sabine von Stocker (44). This way, heating costs can be kept low compared to older, poorly insulated homes.
MINERGY-certified buildings also generate part of the energy needed by themselves using photovoltaic systems. They are fossil free and are therefore not affected by rising gas and oil prices.
Can the ventilation be turned off?
Minergie The ventilation of homes ensures that air is exchanged evenly. Optimum air quality is achieved not only from fresh air, but also by removing excess moisture, odours, pollutants and CO.2 To be taken away
Can the affected people turn off this ventilation to save on electricity costs? Experts advise against it. “Turning off the ventilation doesn’t necessarily save energy,” says von Stocker. “If you no longer ventilate through the windows, but you lose a lot of heat and have to reheat accordingly.”
However, homeowners can often choose not to change the air. “By installing low air exchange on the ventilation unit, minimal air exchange is guaranteed within a very tight building envelope in MINERGE buildings,” says Eschi from HEV. This saved electricity costs.
Tenants can regulate ventilation
The same applies to tenants of Minergy apartments: “You can regulate the ventilation in stages,” explains Vincasa spokesman Janos Kik. However, you cannot turn them off completely.
Wincasa does not want to figure out how much ancillary costs will increase for tenants of Minergie apartments due to rising electricity costs. “It’s very individual and depends on user behavior,” Kik says.
However, those who turn off their mineral ventilation should ensure that the air quality remains good. This is especially difficult in minergy buildings where the windows cannot be opened. Problem: Air humidity and oxygen supply must be controlled through ventilation here. Otherwise there is a risk of mold in the worst case.