The rise of Zero Net Energy homes?



A new report from Navigant Research analyzes the market for zero net energy homes (ZNEHs), including the zero net energy (ZNE), near-ZNE, and ZNE-ready segments, with global forecasts for units and revenue, through 2025.

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Liginullenergiamaja 1” by Robert TreierOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

As residential building codes call for greater energy efficiency, and the use of onsite generation for grid load management becomes more valuable, the market for ZNEHs is rapidly emerging. Near- ZNE and ZNE-ready homes are also becoming increasingly accepted as builders make more effort to offer enhanced efficiency options and satisfy energy-conscious consumers. According to Navigant Research’s report, the total number of ZNEHs in North America are expected to grow from 750 in 2015 to nearly 27,000 in 2025.

A zero-energy home, also called a zero net energy (ZNE) building, net-zero energy building (NZEB), or net zero building, is a building with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site, or in other definitions by renewable energy sources elsewhere. These buildings consequently do not increase the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. They do at times consume non-renewable energy and produce greenhouse gases, but at other times reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas production elsewhere by the same amount.

In comparision, traditional buildings consume 40% of the total fossil fuel energy in the US and European Union and are significant contributors of greenhouse gases. The zero net energy consumption principle is viewed as a means to reduce carbon emissions and reduce dependence on fossil fuels and although zero-energy buildings remain uncommon even in developed countries, they are gaining importance and popularity.

“ZNEHs are still quite rare, however, the market is poised for growth over the next decade, particularly in California, where a strong regulatory framework calls for all new homes to be zero net starting in 2020,” says Neil Strother, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “In addition, the market is expected to get a boost as builders incorporate the latest technologies to meet the increased energy efficiency standards, and to satisfy consumers seeking to significantly lower or eliminate their monthly energy bills and reduce their impact on the environment.”

While California leads the drive toward ZNEHs worldwide, according to the report, other states in the United States and other countries in select regions are beginning to follow suit. Outside of North America, the ZNE market is gaining momentum in Asia Pacific and Europe, where a 2010 European Union directive requests all new buildings be near-ZNE by the end of 2020.

The report, Market Data: Zero Net Energy Homes, examines the global market for ZNEHs in three categories: ZNE, near-ZNE, and ZNE-ready. The study provides an analysis of the drivers and barriers of the ZNEH market and highlights several case studies. Global market forecasts for units and revenue, segmented by category and region, extend through 2025. The report also provides distinct market definitions for the different categories and examines the key regional market trends related to ZNEHs. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

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Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at mike@realtybiznews.com.