A zero energy house is a building structure that has a total energy consumption (power intake) of zero. The term “zero energy” is fairly ambiguous, and can be used in many different scenarios. Commonly, a zero energy home will have few or no greenhouse and carbon emissions, will generate all its own energy through green or renewable sources. It is a myth that a zero energy house has no power, devices, or electricity that utilizes energy.
Zero energy houses, in most cases, have all the appliances as well as the comforts of modern homes; for example, lights, refrigerator, washing machines, heated water, and more. A zero energy house is recognized not by the absence of energy-using components, but rather by the source from which energy is derived, and a system for generating or replacing energy without creating energy emissions. Our homeowners’ association president who owns a local company and he and his wife have created a zero energy home in our neighborhood by investing heavily in solar investments over the years. You can learn more about his story and his company here.
A zero energy home might get all of its energy from green or sustainable sources such as solar power. Solar power is in demand as it can be utilized to produce energy for a building; similar to the power plant generating electricity for a large grid of structures. A zero energy house relies completely on self produced energy which implies it doesn’t take anything from an electrical grid. If your home likewise relies on self-produced green energy, then it is considered a zero energy home.
Off-site Renewable Sources
In a few regions where renewable energy sources are openly available, a home can be viewed to have “net zero energy” if it purely uses energy (power) from an off-site renewable source. This implies the house does not actually produce its own energy, but rather purchases it from a renewable energy firm. With off-site energy companies, it is often important to consider the energy lost in the transmission, while figuring out whether a house or other structure is entirely zero energy.
Zero Energy Cost
The term “zero energy home” might likewise be used to represent a residential building that has a net zero carbon emission rating. This basically means that the structure produces enough on-site energy to adjust the emissions induced by using fossil fuel energy. It can also be called “net zero cost,” because the property owner can sometimes sell extra or unwanted energy to the power firm to counterbalance the amount of non-renewal energy used by the house. This is the pinnacle of an energy efficient home, when you have negative energy usage.
The benefits of zero energy homes are many:
- Significant household savings
- Reduced carbon footprint
- Model of energy efficiency
- Eligible for green building awards and recognition from the Department of Energy
Thanks to today’s technology it is not difficult to achieve a zero energy design into modern structures or buildings. No need to sacrifice convenience or comfort. Not to mention, the concept of the zero energy house is advantageous because it is financially beneficial; using thermal power, wind power, or home generated solar power to reduce gas and electricity bills.
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