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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Meet my new friend ZEB (Zero Energy Building)

Lights or cash in your pocket–pick one How would you like to pay little or nothing for your electric usage for the rest of your life? Or at least for as long as you live in your net zero energy home…and for anyone who lives there after you.

Net zero energy buildings are a ground-up proposal. If you are building, it’s definitely something you should take a look at. There’s really no reason not to have a goal of producing all the energy that a building uses. It’s kind of an off-grid wet dream.

zHomes is pursuing just that in my immediate area. They recently had a ribbon-cutting in Issaquah, Washington. As Timothy Buckley stated, “The technology is there. There’s nothing new under the sun.”

Zero Energy Buildings, or ZEBs, is not a Pacific Northwest phenomena. There’s actually a contest on the east coast set up by NESEA , the Northeast Energy Sustainable Energy Association. Even without a contest, net zero energy building would seem to be the smart thing to do.

Even if you aren’t building from the ground up, you should take a look at the basic tenets of the concept and see how much of it you can work into your current existing abode. Start with extreme insulation—which will help with both hot and cold weather—and move right along to solar and wind energy.


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