In addition to serving as the actual office of sustainability, E-House was conceived as a place where campus and community groups can meet, learn, plan, and implement sustainability initiatives. With interactive energy features, meeting space, and a myriad of demonstrated hallmarks of sustainability; this repurposed 1930's Dutch Colonial Revival home has been restored for maximum efficiency.
Duke Energy Foundation funded the high efficiency geothermal heating and cooling system as well as a web-enabled energy dashboard that is being used for research, instruction and outreach for campus and community. The University filled the south facing section of the roof of E-House with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to supply most of the electricity needed for the building with clean, renewable energy. The panels produce a surplus of electricity during sunny, mild weather, especially on weekends, and it is sold back to the grid in a net metering agreement with Duke Energy. The small net energy demand for E-House is offset with renewable energy certificates (RECs) purchased from Duke Energy through their Go Green program for renewable energy, making the E-House, in effect, a net-zero building even after accounting for the CO2 emissions related to the water and sewage used at the building.