Habitat for Humanity to build homes with net zero energy use

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 @ 11:09 AM
posted by rene5432

For home builders working with Habitat for Humanity, the goal is to provide safe shelter for families in need. But some sects of the organization are taking this good deed one step further by minimizing a project's impact on the environment.

The Jefferson Post reports that the first home built by Ashe County Habitat for Humanity in North Carolina will produce nearly as much energy as it consumes, creating energy consumption and use that is close to net zero. The home will utilize renewable sources such as solar panels, wind turbines and geothermal sources to lessen the environmental impact. A net zero home can also result in lower utility bills.

“We estimate the family’s monthly utility bill will be somewhere around 84 cents a day,” Gerry Tygielski, the home's lead designer told the news source. At that rate, monthly utility bills would be just over $25 a month, added Tygielski.

While a non-profit organization like Habitat for Humanity sees the value in net zero building, other companies are also getting into the process. KB Home, headquartered in Los Angeles, recently unveiled new home designs dubbed ZeroHouse 2.0. The firm boasts that these Energy Star-certified homes can save homeowners nearly $1,000 in average annual energy costs. 

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