How to make your home net zero
Net zero is the balance between the power a home needs and the renewable energy you can generate to match the need. With new heating technology and lower-cost renewable energy systems, any home can get to net zero.
Where does the path begin?
The path to net zero can begin anywhere. If you’ve installed an LED, you’re already on the path. If you’ve replaced your appliances with ENERGY STAR® models, that’s a significant step. Now that you’ve got some momentum, what comes next? Consider the routine maintenance your house already requires. Now consider the list of house projects you’d like to complete. Why not engage in that work with a net zero goal?
Once you’re on the path to net zero, the next steps tend to present themselves naturally. How quickly you travel along the path is up to you; the key is to keep moving. No matter your timeframe, each project is an opportunity for an improvement in home energy performance. With that in mind, develop a plan that considers the most effective combination of home improvements within your budget, and make each one count toward reaching your goal of a home that can generate as much energy as it uses. Let’s begin:
Level 2 charging port
Enables faster at-home regeneration of an electric vehicle’s battery system
The benefits of net zero home
Think of energy production and use as two sides of a scale. When you produce what you need, your home is in balance. The benefits of this balance come in many forms:
- You will improve your home's performance, comfort, air quality, and looks, which will increase the its value
- You will stabilize your costs. Solar has never been cheaper; invest in renewables now and lock in your energy prices for the next 25+ years
- You will be more prepared in the face of power outages and more resilient over the long term
- You will shrink your carbon footprint and help Vermont become 90% renewable by 2050
Financing to get the net zero
Vermont residents transitioning to renewables are eligible for state tax credits. Low-interest loans for home energy improvements are also available through Efficiency Vermont.
Financing ZEH improvement projects means you’re paying incrementally as you go for clean power until it becomes free and you start earning from the energy you produce renewably by selling excess to the grid. Your bill gets smaller as you progress down the path.
A good rule of thumb is to aim for a positive cash flow from the beginning and go at your own pace. This will make your project more feasible, manageable, and produce far better returns than if you did nothing.
We Can Help
An Efficiency Excellence Network contractor can help you on the Path to Net Zero. Think of us as energy coach-advocates, who will take a whole systems approach to achieving maximum energy efficiency for the best cost.