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All-Renewable Energy Is an “Everyday” Affair

This company believes that with each net-zero project achieved, the United States gets that much closer to decarbonization and a fully electrified society.

GBM 2020 Eco-Leaders featuredFor Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS), developing effective solutions for high-performing net-zero buildings and homes is job one. It results in tangible outcomes such as: 

  • A home that offsets a family’s energy usage and feeds the electric grid.
  • A passive house multi-use commercial building that uses water-based technology for heating and cooling.
  • An office space in Minnesota that doesn’t require cost-heavy and energy-intensive auxiliary heat to keep employees warm through frigid winters. 

The company proudly points to its product line as its most impactful contribution toward sustainability and net-zero infrastructure. By engineering energy-efficient, all-electric HVAC technologies, METUS provides all stakeholders with a means of decarbonizing the built environment without compromising comfort. 

Mitsubishi Monroe Farmhouse-web

Mitsubishi Electric Trane’s net zero accomplishments extend to personal efforts, such as CEO Mark Kuntz’s custom built, renewable energy powered, award-winning smart home. Courtesy of Mitsubishi Electric Group

The company’s non-fossil fuel burning products limit electrical waste and are ideal for electrified buildings and homes that run on renewables. These products are incorporated into the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance—a collaboration of leading global cities achieving carbon neutrality before 2050. Also, all METUS indoor units are made from recycled materials.

While its equipment enables decarbonization, the company’s internal efforts speak to its collective commitment to sustainability. METUS operates under Mitsubishi Electric’s Environmental Sustainability Vision 2050—a long-term plan for creating a low-carbon, recycling-based society. 

By 2030, Mitsubishi Electric aims to reduce carbon emissions from product use by 30 percent compared with 2001 levels, and reduce total production emissions by 30 percent compared with 1991 levels.

By 2050, Mitsubishi Electric will reduce these emissions by more than 80 percent. 

In a quiet lead-by-example action, emissions in Mitsubishi Electric’s LEED-certified facilities are controlled and reduced with the same energy-efficient products provided to customers. METUS also maintains internal key performance indicators for sustainability in its equipment and operations.

Since its establishment in 2017, the Mitsubishi Electric Performance Construction Team has worked as high-performance building consultants on residential projects to provide guidance to industry professionals on how to build homes that meet sustainability criteria such as LEED, Passive House, and net-zero status, among other green certifications. 

The team has also established partnerships with Southface, Viridiant, EEBA, Earthcraft, Zero Energy Ready Home, and Earth Advantage to educate the industry on the benefits of energy-efficient homes that feed into the electric grid.

Mitsubishi One-Way-featured

Energy-efficient products such as the MLZ One-Way Ceiling Cassette, which regulates indoor temperatures and is constructed in part from recycled materials, are found in consumers’ homes as well as METUS facilities. Courtesy of Mitsubishi Electric Group

So why the passion for net-zero development and sustainability? METUS CEO Mark Kuntz stated it best after touring a fully electric smart home that Mitsubishi Electric built in Ofuna, Japan. “A fully-integrated, high-performance house can be even more impactful to the owner,” he says. 

In 2019, Kuntz and his family put passion into practice by developing a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home that also met Energy Star, EPA Indoor airPLUS, and Earthcraft certifications. With high-performance heat pumps, a prototype hot water heat pump, and a solar array all from Mitsubishi Electric, as well as a charging station, Kuntz and his family now reap the cost, efficiency, and environmental benefits of owning and operating a net-zero home. 

With a confirmed HERS score of minus 13 and net-positive energy output, this house, the Monroe Farmhouse, was a Grand Winner at the 2019 DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Housing Innovation Awards. 

“As a company, this is the goal,” Kuntz says. “With each net-zero project achieved, we are that much closer to decarbonization and a fully electrified society that promotes positive stewardship of the environment.”

Alan Naditz is the managing editor of Green Builder magazine. He has covered numerous industries in his extensive career, including residential and commercial construction, small and corporate business, real estate and sustainability.