19 September 2017

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Manager’s ‘Eco-House’ Echoes Goals of Green Energy Fund

Steffen's House in Bad Homburg

Constructed with a range of energy-saving technologies, the home of Steffen Klawitter, Finance in Motion’s Manager for Investor Relations, is well on its way to producing more energy than it consumes, further evidence that employees at the leading impacting investing asset management company are making a difference outside the workplace, too.

Steffen's detached house in Bad Homburg, a city of more than 50,000 north of Frankfurt, is closing in on the elusive "plus-energy" status, a term for households that more than cover their own energy use. Once construction on the house ended in 2014, it has been monitored for energy consumption as part of the "Efficient House Program Plus" sponsored by the German federal government.

The steps Steffen is taking at home are similar to those one of the impact investing funds he works with is supporting in 19 countries. “Reducing my family's environmental footprint mirrors a number of the goals of the Green for Growth Fund,” he explains. “It finances energy efficiency and renewable energy measures in the countries it serves, so basically it supports homeowners and businesses trying to do the same kind of things I’m doing."

Recently profiled in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Germany's leading newspapers, the three-story home offers an impressive array of features that save and produce energy: 47.5 cm-thick walls, roof solar panels, subterranean air circulation that counterbalances seasonal temperatures with a heat-exchanger which transfers over 80% of the heat from the used air to the fresh air, and an air-source heat pump that with only 1kW of electricity produces 3kW of heat from the air in a manner opposite of common refrigerator technology.

From a CO2 production perspective, the house is already in the upper tier of environmentally friendly homes: Because Steffen buys his green electricity from EWS Schönau, one of Germany’s top sustainable energy providers, the home is CO2 neutral.

Its energy use in 2016 barely exceeded homegrown production, and the hope is some expected treetop-trimming along the nearby commuter train tracks will eliminate shadows on the house’s solar panels and bring its energy balance into the black

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