Cost to Build a Net-Zero Energy Home
You've probably heard many people talking about their net-zero energy home and how much they love it, how rewarding it is to live in, and how much money they save on energy costs while helping the environment. Perhaps you've wondered what a net-zero energy home is and if it might be the right choice for you.
If you're in the market for a new place to live and have considered building your own home, a net-zero energy home might be the perfect choice for you. Join the many happy homeowners who have designed and built eco-friendly, cost-efficient, and comfortable homes for much less expensive than you might think.
What is a Net-Zero Energy Home?
Zero energy homes are just like any other house on the block - with one crucial distinction. Zero energy homes are marvels of energy-saving, efficient innovation.
These days, many houses are "eco-friendly," but zero energy homes go beyond solar panels and energy-efficient "smart" appliances. These homes combine excellent design and engineering with cutting edge, environmentally conscious technology, to create homes that don't just conserve energy - they create it.
Built to be air-tight, with insulation so energy efficient that they produce as much renewable energy as they conserve, they are indeed the future of home-building.
What is the Benefit of a Net-Zero Energy Home?
The benefits of such a home are apparent!
For starters, the level of comfort you'll experience in a net-zero energy home is unparalleled. You will breathe clean, fresh, air - free of mold, allergens, and other toxins. Temperatures will always be mild, without the need for overusing the HVAC.
The design of net-zero homes is efficient, and they are heavily insulated. You'll enjoy the tranquility as you never have before. Better sleep, more comfort, and a stress-free home environment will be yours.
Aside from comfort, owning a net-zero energy home will save you money, which is one of its more important aspects for many people. Because these homes are so energy efficient, you'll see the benefits with every monthly electric bill. The conditions and benefits of zero energy homes are consistent over time, so although your neighbor's power bills may surge over the years, your costs will remain the same.
Money and comfort are undoubtedly significant factors to consider, but the impact (or lack thereof) on the environment, may be best of all. You'll have peace of mind knowing that you live in a home that conserves energy and produces it. You'll know that your home isn't harming the environment, but rather is helping it.
Zero Energy vs. Standard Homes
There are many advantages to building a zero energy home over a conventional home.
Even the most up-to-date designs in standard homes can fall short in energy efficiency, comfort, and safety. There are many factors to consider, such as the location of your building, materials, architectural design, and more. With so many "cooks in the kitchen," it can be hard to guarantee that new construction meets environmental specifications.
Zero energy homes are designed to be energy efficient and sustainable from the ground up. Everything, from the beginning design, to the materials, construction, wiring, appliances, and more, is all part of a larger plan to keep the home zero-energy and efficient. From the insulation to the flooring, from the instruments to the paint - it's all part of a beautiful, larger design that will guarantee that your home is as efficient (and comfortable) as possible.
One bonus of having a zero-energy home is that they are much more durable than standard homes because more time is spent, and better materials are used in construction.
Many homeowners like the idea of zero-energy homes so much that they've begun converting their more conventional homes, room by room (usually starting with the attic or basement), into zero-energy models! These hybrid homes are often called "green" homes (more below) and should tell you how highly sought after zero-energy homes are.
Green Homes vs. Zero Energy Homes
Green homes are an excellent option for many people and are more environmentally-kind than standard homes.
There are some critical differences between a green home and a zero-energy home, however.
A "green" home can be an already existing property that has been upgraded to a state of higher energy efficiency, where a zero-energy home is almost always a newly built structure.
While "green" houses follow many of the same ideas and building planning as zero-energy homes (heavy insulation, ventilation, solar heating, and focus on removing leakages, etc.), they don't adhere to the same strict standards as zero-energy homes. They do, however, often have energy-efficient appliances, such as energy starred HVAC systems.
The percentages of energy saved in a "green" house are reasonable - around 60-80% - but the energy saved in a zero-energy home is much better. One hundred percent is the winner every time!
Cost of Common Home Construction
The cost of building any home, especially a zero-energy home, will vary depending on many factors. These include your location, the type of land you're building on, the size of the house, the design, special features, additions and appliances, and even your credit.
However, the assumption that zero-energy homes cannot be built affordably is not correct. The truth is that it is possible to build a net-zero energy home on a budget! They can be much more affordable than you might imagine.
Here are some numbers to give you an idea. In today's dollars, the average-sized family home costs around $240,000. The average net-zero energy home of the same size costs around $263,000. That is a small increase in costs, to have a zero-energy home. That increase works out to be less than ten dollars per square foot!
Net-Zero Home Upgrades
As we stated above, many homeowners who already have traditional homes, are choosing to upgrade areas of these homes, to become like (in part) like their savvier cousins. The benefits of making a home carbon-free, environmentally friendly, and zero-energy are almost irresistible!
Many homeowners and builders are finding innovative and affordable ways to upgrade their homes and make them more energy efficient by using materials like thick insulation (spray foam and others), recycled materials like cellulose, and others.
How to Save Money on Net-Zero Energy Homes
When looking to save money on your energy-efficient home, follow the homeowner's "Two R’s" - these will save money.
Homeowners and home builders alike have found that reducing the size of their structure/home by even one small room (say, 240 square feet) can give them huge savings every month. Consider this when designing your home and determining how large the rooms should be. Do you need all that space?
When purchasing appliances, especially the energy-efficient ones, look for rebates. There are often MANY rebates offered, not only from the manufacturer or the store from which you are purchasing but even the electrical company themselves. Often utility companies offer significant rebates and discounts to customers who utilize energy-efficient appliances in their homes. You'd be surprised at how great these savings can be - potentially, thousands of dollars per year.
One other excellent option is to look into an EEM, or Energy-Efficient Mortgage. Many lenders will work with customers who are building net-zero energy homes, charging low rates for their environmental and economic mindfulness.
How Can We Help
Visit My Site Plan to review and browse many net-zero energy home plans designed by our professional and experienced team. Specializing in both commercial and residential structures, our team has the know-how to design the best structures based on your location, climate, and your unique preferences. We will work with the building permits and laws of your area. Together we can help you design and build the perfect net-zero energy home for your family's needs and budget. A zero-energy home can be yours, affordably and comfortably.
- Ryan Crownholm