Maximizing the Benefits of Zero-Energy Homes

Solar & Efficiency Special
A version of this article appears in the Solar & Efficiency Special issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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March 19, 2007
There is an emerging trend in energy programs for new homes to shift from a focus on the use of individual high-performance components to a focus on overall home performance. Key examples of this trend include the MASCO Environments for Living program, the SMUD Zero-Energy Home program (see  “Sacramento’s Zero-Energy Community,” Ready for Prime Time? Not all currently available technologies are suitable for use in residential programs that focus on realizing large incremental energy savings. Many successful products are energy neutral, provide modest energy benefits, or are targeted toward niche markets. There are four barriers to realizing large incremental energy savings in production homes:

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