KB Home rolls out zero-energy product in three markets

KB Home announced a planned nationwide rollout of its next-generation of energy-efficient home designs, a net-zero-energy home dubbed ZeroHouse 2.0.

By Mary Beth Nevulis, HousingZone Contributing Editor | September 16, 2011

KB Home announced a planned nationwide rollout of its next-generation of energy-efficient home designs, a net-zero-energy home dubbed ZeroHouse 2.0.

The first ZeroHouse 2.0 model homes include solar power systems and building techniques and features that enhance efficiency well beyond KB Home's Energy Star-qualified standard. The homes opened last week in Tampa, Fla., San Antonio, and Austin, Texas. Home buyers in these markets will now be able to incorporate ZeroHouse 2.0 energy efficiency options in their home at the KB Home Studio.

A national rollout of ZeroHouse 2.0 models will continue through 2012.

ZeroHouse 2.0 features include:

• The home has solar panels from Sun Power with 5.9 kilowatts of capacity that converts the energy of light from the sun into electricity.  This is the largest single component that helps this home reach net-zero and helps reduce energy costs and protects against rising energy utility rates.

• The Sun Power solar power inverter converts solar electricity for household use (5.9KW solar panels).  These units take the energy generated by the panels and convert it from DC to AC electricity for the home’s electrical needs. When there’s a surplus, it feeds it back to the grid to earn energy credits and achieve a net-zero balance.  
• The Velux water heater can save a homeowner up to 80% on water heating costs.  This water heater is anchored by an 80-gallon storage tank and is fed by collectors on the roof.
• In this climate, the system is likely to keep the water hot at all times. But if it doesn’t, there’s an electrical resistance backup to boost the water temperature.

• One of the most unique features of the home is the energy monitoring system, which allows the homeowner to track energy usage through real-time utilities meter, and a meter to track solar electricity production. Owners who can witness their energy use on a daily or real-time basis are far more likely to alter their lifestyle habits to affect that use. This monitoring system is expected to influence homeowner’s energy & water consumption behavior.  

• This home features a programmable thermostat that provides cutting-edge control capabilities for maximum performance and increased energy efficiency.
• This alone can help reduce heating and cooling costs up to $180 per year.  Higher SEER HVAC systems, such as the 19 SEER HVAC in this home are up to 14% more efficient.

• The Car Charger in the home is an indoor residential electric vehicle (EV) charger is an easy-to-install and user-friendly solution for recharging vehicles at home.
• It features a delayed charging option and connects to an Energy Management System for in-home energy monitoring and management.

• This home has WaterSense – labeled faucets, toilets and showerheads, which use 20% less water than standard models.  They are designed to ensure a high level of performance and user satisfaction.   
• All of the windows in this home are dual-pane, low-emissivity (low-E) windows, which are highly efficient windows to help keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in the winter.  They reduce radiant energy loss by up to 30% and protect your furnishing from UV glare.

• The home has ADT security systems as part of its new pulse package.  This is a great way to not only monitor the home, but also increase energy efficiency by monitoring your lights from your computer or mobile phone.  

• As with all KB Home’s we build, this house has Energy Star Qualified appliances, meaning they meet strict government guidelines for energy- and water-efficiency.  KB Home’s standard Whirlpool Energy Star qualified appliances use up to 30% less energy than standard appliances.

For more information: www.kbhomes.com.


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