The fight against global warming and the expansion of sustainable energy practices have contributed to a number of growing trends, such as electric vehicles, smart homes and distributed generation. Add zero energy or net zero energy buildingsto the list. According to a recent study, they are on the rise.
Released on July 31, “To Zero and Beyond: Zero Energy Residential Buildings Study” was compiled by Team Zero, a coalition of stakeholders dedicated to promoting zero energy buildings in North America.
The fourth in a series of annual inventories, the study tracks residential activity in the U.S. and Canada and provides an overview of findings from the group’s year-over-year inventory of growth in this particular housing type.
The study resulted in several notable findings. For example, it revealed the number of zero-energy housingunits increased by 59%, from 13,960 to 22,146 since 2017.
The study also identified three categories. A zero-energy ready building can produce up to 90% of a building’s energy needs. Zero-energy is right at 100%, and a net positive building produces 110% or more. According to the study, homes are becoming increasingly more effective, with a 7.2% migration of homes from the zero-energy ready category to zero-energy.
On a regional basis, the southwestern U.S. is the nation’s leader of zero-energy homes. California leads the pack with 6,828 units. Arizona, Colorado and Texas are also in the top ten, giving the southwestern states a combined total of 9,589 units.
Canada is also showing strong growth, with a 240% increase in the number of zero-energy units from 2017.