Net Zero Energy program has a new name, rooftop solar panels found to be a benefit to the grid, and net-zero home building increases by 33 percent
Net Zero Energy rebranded as ‘Zero Energy’
The International Living Future Institute recently rebranded its Net Zero Energy program as “Zero Energy Building Certification.” The Institute wants to position the certification as the sole standard for achieving top performance in building energy efficiency. ILFI will administer the certification program, and in collaboration with the New Buildings Institute, will operate a joint portal for zero energy buildings, which is still under development.
The standard’s reboot comes as improved solar, lighting, HVAC, and building-envelope technology have put zero energy within reach for more and more buildings, ILFI says. By the end of 2016, New Buildings Institute had verified that 53 buildings in its database produced more renewable energy than the total energy they used. Another 279 were designed to attain zero energy but hadn’t yet performed at that level for a full year.
The new standard eases the path toward certification including eliminating a requirement for a site audit.
Rooftop solar panels are a net benefit to the grid
Homeowners with rooftop solar panels are more than paying their share of maintaining the electric grid, according to a new study commissioned for the Institute for Energy Innovation (IEI). The study found that electricity from rooftop solar typically goes on the grid during peak demand and at peak cost, especially during the summer on hot, sunny days. That means that the surplus electricity produced by solar roof customers is worth more than the credit they get on their bills.
Net-zero homes grew a record 33% in 2016
More than 8,000 new units of net-zero homes were built last year in the U.S. and Canada. That was a 33% increase from 2015, according to a new report by the Net-Zero Energy Coalition. Most of the new net-zero buildings, 61%, were part of larger, multi-unit projects. Lux Research projects zero energy buildings and nearly-zero energy buildings will grow to a $1.3 trillion market globally by 2025.