A zero energy building functions with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used yearly by the building is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site.
Making a building as close to zero energy as possible is always the goal for SolarCon.
Most zero energy buildings use the electrical grid for energy storage but some are independent of grid. Energy is typically harvested on-site through a combination of energy producing technologies (solar, geothermal, etc.), while reducing the overall use of energy with highly efficient HVAC and lighting technologies. The zero-energy goal is becoming more practical as alternative energy technology costs decrease and the costs of traditional fossil fuels increase.
There are many approaches to the zero energy concept because there are so many options for producing and conserving energy. There are quite a few benefits to zero energy as well.
• Isolation for building owners from future energy price increases
• Increased comfort due to more-uniform interior temperatures
• Reduced requirement for energy austerity
• Reduced total cost of ownership due to improved energy efficiency
• Reduced total net monthly cost of living
• Improved reliability
• Extra cost is minimized for new construction compared to an afterthought retrofit
• Higher resale value as potential owners demand more ZEBs than available supply
• The value of a ZEB building relative to similar conventional building should increase every time energy costs increase
• Future legislative restrictions, and carbon emission taxes/penalties may force expensive retrofits to inefficient buildings