Choosing Net Zero
The Move Toward Net Zero Energy
Energy costs have been on the rise for the last 20 years and future energy costs are projected to continue increasing. At the same time, new building codes are requiring more energy-efficient construction techniques. As these building codes grow more stringent and the cost of energy rises, net-zero ready homes become the smart way to build.
By building a home that is Net Zero ready, you are making an investment. Building to tomorrow’s codes will greatly reduce your energy consumption today, even if you choose to wait to install a power generation source, like solar panels. When you are ready to add panels, you will avoid costly retrofits because your Net Zero home is built ready for panel installation and energy capture from day one.
According to a recent study by the EPA, we spend 90% or more of our time indoors. With more and more people becoming conscious of their indoor environments, and how that affects their home and family, health is a natural concern. That is why West Branch Builders Inc. utilizes the different programs to verify the indoor air quality of homes. Below is a list of factors that affect the indoor health of your home. Net Zero addresses each of these critical areas.
A Comfortable Home Space
Being comfortable in your own home can not necessarily be measured, but can most certainly be experienced. For too long, drafty homes have been the norm. Your ideal home should be a place where you can relax and enjoy your surroundings – a space where you don’t need to wear a sweater when you sit near a window, or retreat to lower levels to cool down in the heat of summer.
Investing in Your Future
Building a Net Zero home is an investment in your family’s future. From tangible economic benefits like lower energy bills and higher resell value to qualitative advantages such as healthier living spaces and sturdier structures, your Net Zero home provides unparalleled value. We build quality homes today based on the standards of tomorrow.
Net Zero Energy Homes
Imagine a home that is not only energy efficient, but also produces all the power it needs. Just like a typical home, a Net Zero Energy Home is connected to, and uses energy from, the local electric utility. But unlike typical homes, the Net Zero Energy Home makes power to send back to the utility. Annually, a Net Zero Energy Home produces enough energy to offset the amount purchased from the utility-resulting in a net-zero annual energy bill.
A Net Zero Energy Home combines state-of-the-art, energy-efficient construction techniques and equipment with renewable energy systems (photovoltaic panels, solar thermal panels, wind turbines, geothermal mechanical systems, etc.) to come as close as possible to being self-sufficient in its energy usage on an annual basis. Specifically, when renewable resources cannot provide all of the home’s power, e.g., at night or on a cloudy day, the homeowner purchases energy from the utility company. When renewable resources produce more than the house is using, e.g., during sunny days when no one is home, power is sent back into the utility grid. Some utilities operate the home’s electric meter in reverse, essentially providing the homeowners full retail value for their energy.