Photo of Team Austria celebrating their Solar Decathlon 2013 victory.

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

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Energy Balance Contest

(100 points)

For the Energy Balance Contest of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, each team house is equipped with a bidirectional utility meter that enables competition organizers to measure the energy the house produces and consumes over the course of the competition. The contest is divided into two subcontests, energy production and energy consumption, each of which is worth 50 points.

For energy production, a team receives full points for producing at least as much energy as its house needs, thus achieving a net energy consumption of zero during the competition. This is accomplished by balancing production and consumption. Reduced points are earned for a net electrical energy balance between -50 kWh and 0 kWh.

For energy consumption, a team receives full points for using 175 kWh of energy or less over the competition. Reduced points are earned for consumption between 175 kWh and 300 kWh.