The Growth Path For Zero Net Energy Homesby Bill Roth on Wednesday, Nov 13th, 2013 ShareClick to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Generation Z, the first generation born in the 21st century, will most likely buy a Zero Net Energy (ZNE) home as their first new home purchase. A ZNE home and its promise of low or no monthly utility bills will align with this generation’s fiscal prudence gained from the hard lessons of the Great Recession.ZNE homes will be designed around information age technologies that will be attractive to this generation, many of whom probably held a smart phone or tablet computer before holding a book. And when this generation is ready to buy their first home, their purchase options will be shaped by emerging public policy like California’s Title 24 building code revisions that target all new residential construction being ZNE by 2020.What is a zero net energy home?The simplest definition for a ZNE home is a home that annually generates onsite renewable energy that is equal to its annual energy consumption. Today, this definition is already being achieved by thousands of home owners across the U.S. that have installed rooftop solar systems that generate enough electricity to turn their meters back to an annual net zero. But this current solar path to ZNE ignores the economic and environmental benefits of smart and energy efficiency technologies. It is also being challenged by electric utilities claiming a distortion in the cost allocation of grid services when a homeowner can avoid payment to the utility while still using the grid to supply their home with electricity.California is launching revised building codes in 2014 that approach ZNE home design through a sequence of steps, with the last step being the use of onsite renewable energy generation. California’s approach first targets reduction in a home’s energy demand and energy consumption. One key step is the installation of smart building technologies that enable a building’s operation to achieve performance goals measured by cost, reductions in environmental impacts and reduced stress on the electricity grid during peak periods. A second key step is the installation of energy efficiency technologies that reduce consumption and related generation emissions.Comprehensive building solutionsThe design of ZNE homes will be based on an emerging concept of comprehensive building design. Home design will be anchored upon four technologies that can be integrated into a system designed to reduce costs and environmental impacts while also increasing occupants’ comfort levels and productivity. The four components of comprehensive building design are:Smart building systems that will not only operate a building but can arbitrage between forward-looking building operations pathsEnergy efficiency lighting and HVAC systemsRooftop solar systems and/or other sources of onsite renewable generationOnsite battery systems that can be charged with renewable electricity and dispatched to displace more expensive grid electricity or displace the environmental emissions tied to using fossil fueled grid electricityThe information age technologies incorporated into a comprehensive solution ZNE home will enable home operations to realize target performance results measured by:Occupant comfort and productivityCost optimization across a range of options including energy efficiency, onsite generation, grid purchases and use of onsite battery storageDemand avoidance during critical grid-peak time periodsReduced environmental impactsA ZNE home by Stanford UniversityStanford University has commissioned a ZNE home as part of their participation in DOE’s Solar Decathlon event. The home will be used by a University work associate and his family that works off campus. The following six minute video interview is with Jacob Schaffert, the lead architect for Stanford’s ZNE home. In this video, Jacob outlines the project’s design path, its costs and the design innovations for achieving mass production of ZNE homes.Bill Roth is an economist and the Founder of Earth 2017. He coaches business owners and leaders on proven best practices in pricing, marketing and operations that make money and create a positive difference. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles business case studies of pioneering best practices that are proven to win customers and grow product revenues. Follow him on Twitter: @earth2017This article is the third of a three article series that draws from Bill Roth’s coaching program for trade professionals entitled “How To Grow Sales From Title 24 Code Revisions” that was conducted on November 5, 2013 at the San Diego Gas & Electric Energy Innovation Center.Read the entire series:Building Code Revision Launches California Toward Zero Net Energy BuildingsCA Building Code Revision Will Revolutionize Building Efficiency FinancingThe Growth Path For Zero Net Energy Homes Founder of Earth 2017. Author of The Boomer Generation Diet: Lose Weight. Have Fun. Live More that Jen Boynton, Editor in Chief of Triple Pundit , says is "Written in Bill Roth's lovable, relatable tone. A must read for any Boomer who is looking to jumpstart their health and have fun at the same time. I hope my parents read it. " Follow Bill Roth @earth2017 One response How many certified zero net energy homes are there in the USA currently? Comments are closed.