Less sunny regions have higher costs to construct net-zero homes.
Some builders, motivated by rising demand from buyers and state and local regulators, are designing net-zero energy homes for the mass market. The Southwest is the area where this is most economical. Costs to construct net-zero homes in the Northeast and Midwest, where sunshine isn’t as strong in areas like the Southwest, are higher.
Homeowners in less sunny regions have to install more solar panels to generate the same amount of electricity as a home in the Southwest with fewer panels. A KB Home executive estimates that it can cost $6,000 to $12,000 more for a solar-power system in the Northeast than in the Southwest to achieve the same amount of electricity output.