Zero Energy Homes
Increasing the energy efficiency of new homes offers a cost-effective way to
help homeowners save money and lower their energy use, while reducing the energy
and environmental impacts of new homes. Zero Energy Homes, which are designed to
produce as much energy as they consume, can currently be built cost-effectively
while achieving energy savings of up to 50% through energy efficiency measures,
and up to 65% savings by incorporating on-site renewable energy systems, such as
solar PV and solar thermal systems. Zero energy homes can also reduce or nearly
eliminate peak electricity demand, which is growing rapidly in many Southwest
SWEEP is working in partnership with the DOE Building America program to
promote the adoption of programs and policies in the Southwest that support
cutting edge residential energy efficiency technologies, including zero energy
homes that reduce conventional energy consumption by 50% or more relative to
standard new homes built to energy code.
This section provides information on the design features and performance of
zero energy homes, including project examples and brief descriptions of
completed zero energy home projects. Information is also provided on utility
programs and incentives in the Southwest, and programs and technical assistance
resources available to homebuilders.
Features of Zero
This section summarizes the energy efficiency and renewable energy features,
savings potential and cost effectiveness of zero energy homes.
Describes completed projects in the Southwest and beyond that are built to
be at least 50% above code or to have zero net energy use on an annual
basis. Includes brief descriptions of home design features, energy
efficiency and renewable energy technologies, and field monitoring data,
and Incentives for Zero-Energy Homes
Learn about federal, state and local financial incentives, as well as
utility rebates and programs for homebuilders interested in building zero
energy homes and communities in the Southwest.
Energy homes offer significant energy and environmental
benefits to the Southwest
numbers of high performance and net-zero energy homes in the
southwest could save 2.7 billion kWh by 2020.
That's enough power to serve 25,000 households annually for
ten years, and reduce peak electricity demand by 1,400
megawatts. Emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas
that contributes to global warming, would be cumulatively
reduced by 2.4 million tons by 2020, and household energy
bills would be reduced by $500 million.
Source: SWEEP High
Performance Homes report, p. ES-3.
SWEEP offered a series of one-day training workshops on high
performance homes, including zero energy homes, in Salt Lake
City, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Albuquerque in 2008. The workshops
provided homebuilders, architects, real estate professionals,
local government officials and others interested in improving
home energy performance with an overview of the design,
features, incremental costs and performance of high performance
Review workshop presentations