As an addendum to my last post I wanted to add a few things. The first being that the whilst the Silverton Passivhaus is an exceptionally well performing building the occupants are still consuming fairly large quantities of energy. This appears mainly to be because of their 3 children who create large quantities of laundry and struggle with the concept of energy and water saving. The washing machine, tumble drier (yes, you can use one in a passivhaus so long as it is a condensing one) and dishwasher are in almost constant use which consumes a lot of energy.
The second point was pointed out to me by Christian Nialki from Clay UK. Passivhaus’s PHPP can still produce energy consumption estimates which are wildly different from the actual consumption. However, in all of the German examples monitored (there hasn’t been a large UK study yet) even the worst performing households are still excellent compared to existing housing stock. As he says, Passivhaus not only gives you exceptional comfort and low energy consumption but it gives you choice. You can set the thermostat to 18 in the winter and keep the windows closed or set it to 25 and open them. Even in the latter example you’ll still not be using as much energy as anyone else.