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Sentmatt development: Foundation of a private consumption collective

Sentmatt, a housing development comprising 119 apartments in Obfelden, Zurich, has recently become a focus of attention. The reason? Residents have founded their own private consumption collective. The collective covers around 30% of its electricity needs with photovoltaic cells on the roof. The rest can be purchased at reasonable prices on the open market.

The Sentmatt development consists of six separate buildings, complies with current energy-efficiency requirements and is equipped with a 2SOL system that supplies zero-emissions electricity, heating and cooling. The innovative 2SOL hybrid collectors use the sun in two ways: first, for heating and, second, as a source of electricity. The warmth collected is used for heating and also feeds the hot water supply. Any surplus solar heat generated, particularly in summer, is discharged into the earth. This process prevents the ground from cooling down and is known as regeneration. All these energy-saving measures lead to an approximately 30% reduction in electricity costs.

Private consumption collective classed as key account

All in all, the private consumption collective uses a lot of power and, under new energy legislation, is classed as a key account. As a result, it can buy any shortfall in its electricity supply cheaply on the open market. Enpuls AG, a subsidiary of EKZ, the canton of Zurich's electricity company, is responsible for the correct sub-metering, i.e. the recording of consumption data for the individual apartment.

Benefits for occupants

This development comes with several other benefits for the occupants of the Sentmatt complex. The 2SOL system reduces ancillary costs and at the same time guarantees more comfort in the apartments. In the face of global warming, Roger Ricklin of Halter Inc. firmly believes that the importance of cooling during the summer months will become increasingly important in the future and provide occupants with an optimum environment throughout the year.

The Sentmatt project is a pioneering venture and shows the way forward for this innovative form of energy supply.

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