Surge of Interest in "Zero Energy Ready" Homes in Southern Nevada

Surge of Interest in "Zero Energy Ready" Homes in Southern Nevada

Please note: A previous blog post describing this event was a draft and posted before some errors were corrected. On the cusp of Thanksgiving, we extend our thanks to you for your patience and your ongoing support of energy efficiency.
Tom Polikalas

The "Zero Energy Ready Home" (ZERH) workshop, hosted by Southwest Gas on November 18, 2019 in Las Vegas, drew together a broad cross section of Nevadans to explore cost-effective ways to save energy, benefit Nevada's economy, and improve the environment. Attendees included realtors, builders, energy auditors, other energy efficiency professionals, local government staff, utility representatives, regulators, academic leaders, students, and elected officials.

SWEEP greatly appreciates the partners who worked with us over the past several months to organize the event: the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, Southwest Gas, and NV Energy. The utilities also graciously sponsored lunch for attendees.

Other sponsors added their promotional support and played an important part in the event’s success including the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association (SNHBA), the City of Henderson, the City of Las Vegas, Boulder City, the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), Clark County, Nye County, the Green Alliance, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the UNLV ASHRAE Chapter, and UNLV.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home program was the keynote topic and presentation, with Nancy Kellogg of SWEEP’s building program explaining “The Why and How to Build a Zero Energy Home.”

"The U.S. Department of Energy’s ‘Zero Energy Ready Home’ represents a whole new level of home performance, with rigorous requirements that ensure outstanding levels of energy savings, comfort, health, and durability,” according to Kellogg.

Attendees also heard about related technologies and programs from other speakers. Presentations included:

  • An overview of the State of Nevada’s Energy Programs, Jennifer Taylor, Deputy Director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy;
  • Highlights of the UNLV Solar Decathlon team’s entry into the prestigious U.S. Department of Energy competition for home design, Ryan Manthai, Jorge Medina, Cielo Gumabon, Alejandro Munoz, Shaimaa Abdelhaleem, and Jake Cray;
  • Natural Gas in Zero Net Energy Homes & Energy Efficiency and Solar Thermal Rebate Programs at Southwest Gas, Melissa Porch and James Stein;
  • NV Energy's Home Energy Efficiency and Energy Storage/Batteries Incentives, Katherine Schweers and Vincent Veilleux; and
  • Southern Nevada Water Authority’s (SNWA’s) Water Saving Technologies and Incentives, Toby Bickmore.

Following the event, the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) facilitated at tour of “Desert Sol,” the home built by the UNLV Solar Decathlon team. Desert Sol is now located at the Springs Preserve. The tour of Desert Sol was a great opportunity to see energy efficiency and renewable energy come together in a superlative example of sustainable building.

As Nancy Kellogg said, "We appreciate the outstanding turnout and support for energy efficient, sustainable building from a diverse cross-section of the southern Nevada community, but particularly UNLV and the students who are pushing the envelope with their outstanding vision and work. They are demonstrating that we can build the homes of the future today, brightening the future.”