The term "Net Zero" is a general term applied to describe a building's energy use when, according to predicted energy consumption, it creates as much energy as it needs over the year. This "Net Zero" rating is defined using the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) and does not reflect the "Green" aspect of the overall building. A HERS score considers only its predicted energy use based on design specifics. This is the same test used for the Energy Star program we also work with. Any home can be made Net Zero through the addition of enough onsite power generation systems to provide its annual needs, but the only way to confirm overall "green" built is to have the home certified during construction. Net Zero does not mean it can function without utility company connection, but rather that over the entire year the utility has only acted as a battery and at least the same amount of Kilowatt Hours.
For overall Green Certification, we use the National Association Of Home Builder's (NAHB) Green Building Guidelines. Detailed information can be reviewed at www.nahbgreen.org, but to achieve Emerald Certified Green Built thru the NAHB Green Building is a monumental achievement! Wright-Way is honored to have built two Emerald Certified homes and is among very few builders in the nation to have done so. It is typical that Certified Green homes have low HERS scores, but energy is only a part of what goes into NAHB's program. Wright-Ways two Emerald homes had a -9 and -28 HERS score.
The zero fossil energy consumption principle is gaining considerable interest, as renewable energy harvesting becomes more cost effective and utility costs continue to rise. Our Solar division has seen installed system costs fall by 1/2 in the last 3 years. Traditional building use consumes 40% of the total fossil energy in the US.
As a corporate mission we have dedicated our resources to providing comparable and affordable homes to the public that offer net zero, or near net zero, benefits. Our net zero home packages start in the $130's for a 3/2/2, 1800 sq. ft., comfortably outfitted home design. We can add off grid features and storm shelter bunkers for just a few dollars more per foot.
We are very proud to have built East Texas' first Net Zero Homes as seen in 2010 & 2011 TABA Parade of Homes in June. Contact Master Green Builder and NABCEP certified Solar installer Rudy Wright for more details.