Net Zero Energy

Zero energy homes are built to be air-tight, well insulated, and highly energy efficient.  Because of their construction, these homes are able to produce as much renewable energy as they consume over the course of a year.  Their occupants enjoy a net zero energy bill, and a carbon-free home that is comfortable, sustainable and affordable to live in.  Many zero energy homes incorporate or meet passive house standards.

To attain net zero energy performance, homes may incorporate the following passive house, energy-efficiency principles:

  • Solar electric (PV) systems
  • Designs that maximize the benefits of solar heat gains through:
    • Building orientation that takes advantage of the daily and seasonal position of the sun 
    • Window and door placement and the use of products such as multi-glazed windows and insulated doors 
    • Integrated building features, such as extended eaves or permanently installed awnings to reduce solar heat gain during the summer months 
  • Higher performance building elements used than in typical homes or buildings, such as more effectively insulated walls (both above and below ground level), ceilings, and floors
  • Significantly reduced air leakage (drafts) achieved through meticulous air sealing 
  • Higher efficiency heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, including ground-source and air-source heat pumps, as well as heat- or energy-recovery ventilation systems 
  • Advanced and integrated lighting design, which is designed to take advantage of natural light and includes use of LED technologies 
  • High-efficiency appliances and controls

*Image courtesy of Hammer & Hand