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What is the Difference Between a Zero Energy Home and a Zero Energy Ready Home?
A Zero Energy Home is a home that generates all the energy it requires. It’s the complete package. With all the necessary ingredients present to produce all the energy, it needs on day one.
A Zero Energy Ready home does not produce all the energy it requires but has been planned and built in such a way that it can be readily converted to Zero Energy at some point in the future.
What Goes into A Zero Energy Home?
- A Robust Thermal Envelope that includes:
- Exterior Wall Insulation. The exterior wall assembly should have an R-value between 40 and 50. The current base energy code only requires R-21. Remember: R-value can be thought of as the resistance to heat loss or gain. The higher the number the better.
- Lots of Ceiling Insulation. Ceiling insulation should have an R-value between 70 and 90. The current base energy code only requires R-38 in RI and R-49 in MA.
- Insulation Around the Foundation and Under the Slab. Foundation walls and the underside of cement floors should have insulation between R-10 and R-20. The base energy code requires insulation only when basements are finished.
- Really Energy Efficient Windows. Windows are labeled with U-values. A really energy-efficient window may have a U-value of 20. The lower the number the better. Look for the U-value on the label. All window manufacturers are required to provide this number.
- All heating and cooling equipment including ductwork must be located within the thermal envelope
- All appliances must be Energy Star and 100% of the lighting must be LED.
- Certified indoor air quality and energy-efficient balanced ventilation are required.
- Completed U.S.DOE Zero Energy Ready Home PV-Ready Checklist-Version 2.
- Must include one compliant outlet for electric vehicle charging which must be located within three feet of parking area.
- Must produce all the power needed using on-site generated renewable energy.
Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
Is expected to provide funding for training, solar tax credits and other incentives. This will boost participation nationwide.
The Move to Zero Energy Homes Will Accelerate, Especially in Massachusetts.
We expect the move towards Zero Energy Homes to accelerate in this Country. Some states such as Massachusetts are already well underway. Most states will get on board eventually. Builders will need to adjust to this new reality. Many builders have already embraced the concept and are driving it forward. Others have lagged behind and are scrambling to educate themselves and their subcontractors.
HERS Raters and other professionals in the industry will be the go-to for building planning, consulting and verification. They will play a key role in educating builders and homeowners.
Want to Learn More about Zero Energy Homes in Massachusetts or Rhode Island?
If you’d like more information on how you can minimize energy consumption and maximize savings while making your home more comfortable all year round, then contact Energy Geeks. Our mission is to provide the most comprehensive and efficient solutions to reduce energy use in your home.
Call: 401-766-1540 | 508-444-9800 | Get No Cost Estimate