The Latest News on Zero Energy and Zero Carbon Homes
The Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) is setting their sights on making Zero Energy and Zero Carbon homes attainable and available for everyone through comprehensive builder education and consumer engagement.
As we are experiencing the early stages of climate disruption, our concept of a healthy home must expand to include resilience and safety in face of a variety of weather and climate related threats — from wildfire, smoke, flood, and wind events. 
These different approaches to building can have a big effect on cost, comfort, true sustainability, environmental savings, and much more. Understanding the differences will help you make an informed decision when designing or renovating your own home. And learn how our family approached our first net-zero solar home renovation project – and how we kept costs to a minimum.
Was I risking bursting pipes, weekend service calls, or a spartan lifestyle just to prove a point? What was this all going to cost? What’s a reasonable payback? How many solar panels would I need? And would the solar panels be ugly and make my house look like a middle school science project? Here is what I found.
Because emissions and energy demand are too high, and clean energy powers only 40% of the grid, our 2030 carbon reduction goals cannot be achieved with existing decarbonization measures. A clean energy future requires belt-tightening on the demand side. Since one untapped option involves improving residential thermal performance, builders hold the key to reaching our carbon goals. 
Worldwide, the use of fossil fuels must start declining now if we are to reach the Paris Climate Goal. That means each of us in all of our roles – homeowner, homebuyer, car owner, business owner, employee, commuter, consumer – must begin to start taking steps to reduce our use of fossil fuels. 
The movement to “electrify everything” aims to replace fossil fuel applications with electrical devices that can be powered by a clean grid. With the electricity available on your grid, which comes from a mix of energy sources, will an electric heat pump or electric car produce fewer emissions than an efficient fossil fuel powered furnace or vehicle? A team did the math to find out how efficient EVs and heat pumps are on different grids in different countries. For 53 of the 59 regions analyzed—representing about 95 percent of road transportation and home heating—it’s already true that EVs or heat pumps are more efficient even with a less than perfect grid.
“Net Zero” and “Passive House” are certification labels for ultra-low energy buildings that use very little energy to heat and cool them. From the street, you wouldn’t be able to tell a net zero or passive house from any other recently built home. Even from the inside, the only visible clues are thick walls and deep window sills. Only if you looked at the utilities bill would you know.
Children exposed to gas stove pollution have an increased risk of asthma. And nearly 50 years of research shows that children, low-income households and people of color are more likely to be harmed by this pollution. The time has come to go all-electric, both for our health and the future of our planet.
Zero energy homes are where people put enough grid-connected solar panels on their roof so that over the course of the year they produce as much energy as they use. It is much easier to achieve if you reduce energy demand. That’s the key point being made in a new free ebook, Net Zero Energy Buildings: Passive house + Renewables, by Mary James.
The first net zero hotel in the U.S. is a restoration of an architectural treasure – reducing carbon, reducing energy use to zero, and preserving our architectural heritage.
Once computers, remote controls, portable music and video cameras were weird – now they are normal. Check out this Electrify America ad in the New York Times.
Ever wondered if the heating or air conditioning systems in your home are really necessary? Passive House is a design approach to buildings that drastically reduces the energy required for HVAC systems. This video explains in 90 seconds how it’s done.
EEBA Academy: The EEBA Academy provides a flexible and convenient way for the world’s best high performance builders and their partners to come together to learn about building science and advances in sustainably constructing better homes. 
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