What is a Zero Energy Building?

Most buildings today use a lot of energy — to keep the lights on, cool the air, heat water, and power personal devices. Even installing solar systems will not significantly counter the heavy energy load.
There are, however, some buildings that strike a balance; or even tip the scales the other way! These are called zero energy buildings.

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5 thoughts on “What is a Zero Energy Building?”

  1. Allow Americans to put 99% of the power to run the house and solar panels onto the grid with no issue or fees, if they put more solar panels on their home then their house needs then start charging a fee but all Americans should be able to put solar on to the grid that matches their power usage.

  2. "Net-Zero Energy Buildings" is a classic Straw Man. Virtually ZERO meaning and ZERO relevance. Yeah, so you take an Energy Efficient home – very nice – add a bunch of Solar Panels and subtract Energy Usage of the Home from the Energy supplied to the Grid. Brilliant. How about a building with a Wind Turbine? How about a building with a Wind Turbine 100 yds away? Or one with a big mother Wind Turbine on the property producing 100x the total energy consumed by the home & barn & outhouse all constructed with 2×4 walls and zero insulation – are they now "net energy zero" homes. A net energy zero outhouse? How about someone who owns a small hydro plant supplying 10X the energy their home(s) consume – do they get to declare my home is "net-zero energy"? Why can't I get to declare my home "net-zero energy" because I supply clean, green energy to the Grid, working at a Hydro plant?

    And is that Net-zero Energy on a cold year with little sunshine? Or just on a good warm year with lot's of sun? And if I buy shares in a Nuclear Power plant that produces clean, green energy year round, more than my home consumes do I get to declare my home is "net-energy zero".

    "Net-energy zero" – another NUTTY Greenie catchphrase that in reality is just an embellishment to hide the INCREDIBLY bad economics of Solar Power. I've repeatedly shown how bad the economics of Solar power are, so new Greenie idea, just combine it with building efficiency in a hope to bury the terrible economics. A huge subsidy for the rich to buy expensive homes while the poor & middle class can't even afford a shack to live in.

    How about instead use that subsidy money for a good, basic home for the poor and middle class, with good insulation – like R18, instead of R12, a very tight envelope, double pane windows with southern exposure (in the north), heat exchanger on furnace and air exchange, maybe-maybe Solar Hot water in a good location, and minimum cost construction. Screw the wacky, hyper-expensive Solar Power SCAM & Super-duper extreme Energy Efficiency. What is the marginal cost of Hyper-Super-Duper Energy Efficiency vs just a good basic level of Energy Efficiency? $10k-$40k/kwth avg heat energy savings, I bet. When Nuclear Energy is $0.7 to $2k per kwth avg heat energy. Get 5-60X the Energy Savings by just installing Nuclear Power plants.

  3. Do not call it zero energy because it still requires grid energy,it still can not run 100% on solar. You also contradict yourselves. You state solar does not significantly reduces energy load cost,but your ,"zero energy" building use solar. Of course solar would not be efficient,if you use too few panels. True zero energy buildings already exist in Finland,Germany,and Sweden. Entire roof tops are made of solar panels. Placing panels on the ground does not maximize sun capture,because building s or trees may obstruct path. This means ground panels require lots of open land,which is wasteful;when rooftops can be custom-made of entirely Solar panels. Outer-layers of walls can have solar panels attached also. That is the idea of a true zero energy building.

  4. You should advertise the financial benefits of a zero building , including state , and federal tax breaks and rebates. Heck , you should do a website where people can find the incentive programs at the city , county , state and federal levels , in one place.   The NOAA and NASA could help calculate thinks like average  sun and wind energy intensity the specific area, of the potential zero building . Once the benefit outweighs the cost,  even the poor will go for it.   Until then, it's all just talk with limited action


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