The Buying Power of Efficiency

The average home in the U.S. spends $2,200 on energy each year. That’s $183/month. Rather than spending this money on energy purchases, the smart approach is to invest it in greater energy efficiency. If you’re building a new home, it’s possible to reduce your energy purchases to zero with the buying power gained from that […]

SelahVista Homes Start with Health

Custom home builder Steve Weise has teamed up with REALTOR® Brenda Nunes to offer homebuyers a truly unique option in the small central Washington community of Selah: A zero energy development where all 60 homes feature 5-star Built Green and Indoor airPLUS certifications. The homes at SelahVista give homeowners peace of mind of owning a […]

Protect Homebuyers, Reward Efficiency

Our market-based economy rewards innovation and economic growth. It provides multiple benefits for consumers and society while rewarding individual initiative through enlightened self-interest. But the market doesn’t function in a vacuum. Accurate and timely information is required. For consumers in the market to grasp the best course of action, they must have the right information […]

Zero Fulfills Human Needs at All Levels

Selling anything, including zero homes, is about linking a customer’s needs with a product’s benefits. There is an art to finding new and rewarding methods for making these links. An old concept from psychology can still be useful today.  The psychologist, Abraham Maslow, outlined a hierarchy of human needs, starting with basics such as physiological […]

Production Builders, It’s Time to Sell Zero Energy Homes 

Production builders are uniquely positioned to identify and fulfill the needs of mass market home buyers. Most buyers assume that a new home is more comfortable, healthier, and more durable than an existing home, including the one they are leaving behind. Zero energy homes check all these boxes. Unfortunately, there is one misconception that prevents […]

We Have Met the Enemy and It Is Waste

I remember the first time I saw Amory Lovins, a physicist who co-founded the Rocky Mountain Institute. He held up a compact fluorescent light (CFL) and declared that if everyone in the United States converted all the old-fashioned bulbs to this new lighting technology, 50 coal-fired power plants could be closed permanently, slashing carbon emissions. […]

Zero Net Energy Buildings with Zero Net Added Cost

Would you consider making your next home or building project a zero energy project? If the net added cost to you was also zero, would you be more interested? Most people would. It’s possible to have the added costs rolled into a mortgage or long-term loan. The monthly payments are then covered by the resulting […]

Financing Energy-Saving Improvements and Zero Energy Homes for All

Everyone agrees that many energy-saving improvements, such as adding insulation and high-efficiency heating systems, have benefits in the long run. These improvements benefit the contractors who install the improvements and the suppliers who provide the materials. Lenders make more money with lower risk because the borrowers have more stable monthly budgets. The money saved circulates […]

Mandalay Homes: Zero Energy Grid-Integrated Neighborhoods that Solve the “Duck Curve”

Mandalay Homes, based in Arizona, recently introduced the iON Series, a set of smart energy features that includes an extremely tight, well-insulated building shell, high-efficiency heating and cooling system, and on-site solar with battery storage. “In the past, we have guaranteed four things in our energy-efficiency package,” says Geoff Ferrell, “Our homes achieve a Home […]

Passive House Busts High Cost Myth

There’s a myth circulating that super energy-efficient homes cost more to build than homes with typical code-level energy features. Last year, Architect, Richard Pedranti, busted that myth by designing a home to Passive House standards for only $165 per square foot. “We typically use between $175 and $200 per square foot for standard new home […]

Zero Energy Upgrades Could Cost Zero Dollars

As a promoter of zero energy buildings, I’m constantly explaining to builders and homebuyers how zero energy homes and buildings pay for themselves. I covered this last month in my post, “Buying Power of Energy Savings,” which describes how the energy savings from a zero energy building completely covers the additional monthly mortgage payments needed […]

Cities Leading the Way to Zero Energy

Buildings represent 40% of the world’s energy use and generate 30% of the greenhouse gasses. Some might see that as a problem. However, optimists look at this differently. Because buildings – especially large ones – tend to be concentrated in urban areas, they represent a huge opportunity to reduce waste and improve efficiency. Increasingly, local […]