What is a Zero Energy Home?

Energy prices are at an all time high.

Experts predict that the cost of energy from fossil fuels will continue to rise over the next decade. For those interested in building a new home, Zero Energy Homes have become an interesting concept. A Zero Energy Home combines cutting-edge, energy-efficient construction methods and Energy Star rated appliances with commercially available renewable energy systems, such as solar electric and solar hot water. The combination results in a home that produces its own energy, making it energy independent.Even though the home might be connected to a utility grid, it may have a net zero energy consumption from the power company. In simple terms, this means a zero or near zero energy bill at the end of the month.

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Advantages Compared to traditional construction

  • Comfort

    An energy-efficient building envelope reduces temperature fluctuations.

  • Energy Independence

    A Zero Energy Home can be designed to remain fully functional even during power outages.

  • Environmentally Friendly

    A Zero Energy Home reduces pollution by creating its own power and not relying on fossil fuels.

  • Energy Price Stability

    A Zero Energy Home that produces its own electricity is immune from power company price hikes and rising oil prices.

  • Sustainable Design

    A Zero Energy Home that is built with ICF's (Insulated Concrete Forms) is not only energy efficient but will be storm resistant.

Features Typical for a Zero Energy home

  • Design for specific climate and weather conditions.

  • Passive solar heating and cooling techniques.

  • Site specific solar orientation.

  • Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) and Structural Insulated Panels (SIP) construction techniques.

  • Energy Star rated appliances and lighting products.

  • Solar water heating for domestic hot water and radiant floor heating.

  • Solar electric generation.

  • Geo-Thermal HVAC.

  • Polyethylene Cross-Linked (PEX) manifold plumbing systems.

 

The main goal with a Zero Energy Home is to become energy independent, producing all that you will consume and consuming only what you need.

The initial cost is typically more compared to conventional construction but your investment will pay off in the long run. Also, many state and federal rebates and grants are available to homeowners who want to build a Zero Energy Home – the time to act is now