Moving Toward Net-Zero Energy Homes

Jun, 18 2013 01:06

Moving Toward Net-Zero Energy Homes

Home energy expenditures account for a large part of your home's expenses, but chances are that you really don’t know how much energy your home actually consumes.

Knowledge is "Power"

The problem is that a lot of useful energy data isn’t available, which makes it difficult to assess where you are spending – or wasting – energy.  For those interested in getting their homes to net-zero energy (homes that generate as much energy as they consume in a year), knowing where your energy goes is vital information. A home energy audit will show you exactly where your home is losing energy - and costing you money.

In 2011, the National Institute of Standards and Technology released a publication titled Achieve Net-Zero Energy Homes: A Framework for Future Guidelines.  This publication outlined strategies that homeowners and potential homeowners could use to overcome the gaps in available energy data to help them move towards net-zero energy homes.

Require Energy Costs in Home Appraisals

One easy strategy is to require that energy costs be incorporated into the appraisal value in all real estate transactions.  Appraisals use a valuation process that includes principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI), but adding energy to the mix (PITIE) would give prospective buyers a way to value the energy use of a home into the overall cost.

Use Energy Scoring System

Another recommendation is to use a scoring system for new and used homes so potential buyers can compare things like indoor air quality, durability and energy, depending on their own needs.  A scoring system like the HERS Index would be a standardized system so all homes could be fairly assessed.

Simple Energy-Saving Tips You Can Do Right Now

As the market starts to shift, the move towards net-zero energy homes will continue to grow.  But moving your home towards net-zero energy doesn’t have to start with lots of energy data.  Here are a few simple things you can do today to get your home moving in the right direction.

If you want to find out where your home is losing energy, schedule an energy assessment.