Homeowner Viewpoint: How Do You Like Your Zero Energy Home?

Zero Energy Homes sound great to those of us concerned about the planet but what’s it like to live in one?

More than 8,000 DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes exist in the United States. These houses have met rigorous specifications signifying it is 40%-50% more efficient than a typical new home built to standard building codes. Here’s what the home owners of these houses have to say about them:

Comfort

Zero Energy Ready Homes provide comfort with superior insulation, windows, air sealing and space conditioning systems. Because of the technologies and best practices used, a homeowner can expect even temperatures, low-humidity, sound deadening.

codewatcher.buildingcodes.fairfield

New Fairfield, Conn. “This will be our retirement home. Our goals were to have the tightest envelope and most energy-efficient systems for the long run. This house is also very comfortable; that is the greatest thing about it. It’s silent. We have triple glazing. We don’t hear anyone’s weed whackers on weekend mornings.” Learn more about this home

codewatcher.buildingcodes.coupeville

Coupeville, Wash. “Aside from the absence of any meaningful energy bills, we enjoy the constant even temperature throughout the house. It simply doesn’t fluctuate, even when exterior doors are opened and closed. No blower or furnace noise … less dust. Living very near a military practice airfield, the tight, triple-paned windows dramatically reduce any exterior noise.” Learn more about this home

Health

Zero Energy Ready Homes have a comprehensive package of measures to minimize dangerous pollutants, provide continuous fresh air, and effectively filter air.

codewatcher.buildingcodes.houston

Houston “Air quality was immediately apparent in the dramatic reduction in my son’s asthma symptoms.  He went from daily inhaler use and frequent upper respiratory infections to only occasional/seasonal inhaler use, and the use of antibiotics in our house fell by 80%.  And this in a house that still has three cats and two dogs.” Learn more about this home

 

codewatcher.buildingcodes.atlanta

Atlanta “Since moving into the Zero Energy Ready Home, we have found a vast improvement in indoor air quality. One of the occupants suffers from asthma. Since moving into the home, the asthma symptoms have been dramatically reduced, enough that daily medication has been eliminated. We attribute this to the tightness of the envelope … achieved through advanced framing techniques, various air-sealing measures, spraying the envelope with open- and closed-cell insulation.”  Learn more about this home

 

Savings

A Zero Energy Ready Home is ultra-efficient and ultra-durable, which means a homeowner spends significantly less money on energy bills and home maintenance projects. In fact, the monthly utility bill savings often far exceed the slightly larger mortgage payments. And costs for these homes continue to drop as highly efficient technologies and construction practices become more widespread.

codewatcher.buildingcodes.prescott

Prescott Valley, Ariz. “The energy efficiency of my home has truly blown me away. One [monthly] power bill totaled $3.64 and another totaled $7.96. As far as I’m concerned, you can’t beat that.”  Learn more about this home

 

codewatcher.buildingcodes.durango

Durango, Colo. “We wanted to have a very wellbuilt, energyefficient home for our new residence in the mountains of Durango, Colorado. Our electric bills have been zero (we actually have a net credit due to our photovoltaic system). The cost of propane to heat the house … has only been about $350 from July through May! Pretty remarkable for a 3,800-square-foot home in this climate!”  Learn more about this home

 

Visit the DOE Tour of Zero to learn more about these award-winning homes that are independently certified to meet DOE Zero Energy Ready Home guidelines and constructed by a select group of top builders.