zero energy

Rocky Mountain Institute has issued a new report on the zero-energy or zero-energy ready home market in the US.

The reports aims to highlight methods builders and policymakers can use to drive increased market penetration.

Jacob Corvidae, a principal researcher at RMI, says the report demonstrates that the cost increase to build a zero-energy (ZE) or zero-energy ready (ZER) home is far less than consumers, builders, and policymakers realise.

In addition to reducing consumer energy bills and carbon emissions, zero energy buildings allow owners and operators to avoid the risks of spending significant investments in wanting to upgrade their homes again in only five years time.

Findings of the report include:

  • ZE and ZER homes currently make up less than 2% of the residential market, but their market share is growing
  • The perceived incremental cost remains the main barrier of market growth
  • ZE and ZER homes have already passed the mortgage and some resale thresholds
  • Building costs will likely continue declining

“It’s now clear that zero-energy ready homes make sense economically today, even as they provide multiple benefits over standard construction,” says Jacob Corvidae, principal at RMI and coauthor of the report, “It looks like zero-energy homes will become the norm sooner than most people realise. Building anything else today runs a risk of creating homes that will be seen as out-of-date in only five years.”

The report Economics of Zero-Energy Homes: Single Family Insights, is available for download.