Moving Toward Zero Energy Homes
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Homes research initiative is bringing a new concept to homebuilders across the United States. A Zero Energy Home (ZEH) combines state-of-the-art, energy-efficient construction and appliances with commercially available renewable energy systems such as solar water heating and solar electricity. This combination can result in net zero energy consumption from the utility provider. Zero Energy Homes are connected to the utility grid but can be designed and constructed to produce as much energy as they consume annually.
Zero Energy Homes have a number of advantages:
- Improved comfort—an energy-efficient building envelope reduces temperature fluctuations.
- Reliability—a ZEH can be designed to continue functioning even during blackouts.
- Security—a home that produces energy protects its owner from fluctuations in energy prices.
- Environmental sustainability—a ZEH saves energy and reduces pollution.
Zero Energy Homes optimize a variety of features:
- Climate-specific design
- Passive solar heating and cooling
- Energy-efficient construction, appliances, and lighting
- Solar thermal and solar electric systems.
For more information on zero energy homes (ZEH) see Zero Energy Homes
To read about Zero Energy Homes near Gainesville, FL see Local examples
Deep Energy Retrofits
Deep Energy Retrofits refer to whole house renovations with a target of reducing energy consumption by at least 50%. This requires that no component of the house is overlooked. DER’s typically require what is called a “gut rehab“, where substantial deconstruction is done to expose non-existent or inadequate components so that they can be upgraded.
For more information on Deep Energy Retrofits see “Deep Energy Retrofits“