Net-zero homes are one of the most energy-efficient forms of housing available today. The homes produce enough power on their own to achieve a net zero in-take of grid energy. The home design must be as energy efficient as possible so that the home requires less energy. Building materials and systems are very important to achieving zero energy. Also, the home design must maximize the use of on-site energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal to produce enough energy to power the home. Many homes begin with the passive design model, which utilizes the climate and surroundings of the home to ensure its energy needs are very limited. Typically attached to the energy grid, the homes may at times pull more energy from the grid than they produce, but they make up the difference during periods of lower energy use. Zero-energy homes can be found in new developments such as SpringLeaf in Boulder, Colo., and can be built on site by companies such as Bright Build, Zeta Communities and Metro Green Home. | Read More