Often a homeowner walks into Energy Emporium who is just starting their plans for building a new house. They are doing their research and want to make sure they are siting the home for the best solar access. They are usually thinking about the energy efficiency and they hope to keep the operational costs of living in the home down as much as possible.
For us in New England the biggest energy use in our houses is most often the heat load. For a typical home, we use 2 or 3 times as much energy to heat the house a we use on all the rest of the appliances put together.
But, if you are building a new house or considering a deep energy retrofit of an existing building, you have an opportunity to cut down the heat load dramatically. So much, in fact, that you can build a zero net energy building – a home that makes as much energy as it needs from local, renewable energy sources. That means effectively no heating or electric bills.
This is a great goal for all new construction and the incremental cost of building super energy efficient is not much more than building to code.
If you are on the path to new home construction there are lots of resources out there to help you. The “Building America Solution Center” (a department of Energy project) is one of these resources, which I came across this weekend.
Energy Emporium is a housed in an 1850’s building that was retrofitted to Zero net Energy standards. Come visit some time and we’ll give you a tour!