Investments, Real Estate

Net-zero Homes: Is this Part of the New American Dream?

A surge in energy prices and more awareness of the environmental impact have made consumers more energy-conscious, and this is directing more interest toward a government program with a goal of making energy-efficient homes more available.

The U.S. Department of Energy is sponsoring the Builders Challenge. The voluntary effort urges homebuilders to develop new technologies, designs and techniques for less energy consumption. Currently, the program is on course to make “cost-neutral” net- zero homes available throughout the country by 2030. The idea of the challenge is based on the lessons from the Building America Research program.

Net-zero homes save money and energy by reducing price and temperature fluctuations. The homes are still connected to the utility grid, but they can produce as much energy as they consume and can even function during blackouts, according to the DOE.

The program has had many successes with the creation of show homes and housing subdivisions and developments.

A bill passed in a U.S. Senate committee this summer sets the net-zero energy use as a goal for new homes and commercial buildings according to Bloomberg Markets, but opponents of the measure indicate that although it creates incentives, writers of building codes would have to increase efficiency prices and that could raise new home prices in a recovering real estate market.

What do you think?

 Photo Credit: phanlop88

4 thoughts on “Net-zero Homes: Is this Part of the New American Dream?

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