ZEH Concept

A “Zero Energy Home” produces all the energy it needs to operate from on-site renewable energy systems. There is a “Net Zero” demand for energy from the electrical and natural gas grids on an annual basis. In a typical “grid-tied” home the grid acts as a giant battery storing excess high-value electrical energy produced during “peak” sunshine hours and delivering lower-value “off-peak” electrical energy during evening and nighttime hours.

Here is a chart summarizing planned renewable solar PV energy allocation for this home:

It is a simple concept, yet in practice very challenging to achieve. The US Department of Energy’s “Building America” program performs research toward and develops best practices for achieving Zero Energy Home performance in the home building industry.

This project was developed in partnership with the Building America program and its regional research partner, Davis Energy Group. The performance of the home will be monitored and the results shared on this web site beginning in mid 2011.

In order to achieve a Net Zero Energy Home, a building’s requirement for heating and cooling energy must be reduced dramatically from current average levels common in home construction. At the same time, occupant comfort levels should equal or exceed those common in current construction practices. This home achieves that goal by following the Passive House standard developed in Europe based on “Super-Insulated Building” concepts originated in North America over 30 years ago.

More to come in the future. Stay tuned.