New study finds 75% increase in zero net energy homes


A new study conducted by Parks Associates indicates a 75% increase in the construction of zero net energy homes between 2016 and 2017.

The growth is a result of an increase in consumer demand for smart and energy efficient homes.

Parks Associates estimates 42% of all US consumers classify as energy-efficient techies.
Four out of five home owners believe that having an energy-efficient home is important or very important.

The study findings also include:

  • Distributed energy generation solutions continue to gain adoption and awareness
  • More than one-third of US broadband households consider residential battery storage that store excess power to be very valuable
  • 37% of US broadband households consider solar heating panels to be very valuable
  • Requiring enrollment in a DR programme as a condition of accepting a rebate for higher efficiency products reduces purchase intention by 50%.

Denise Ernst, senior analyst, Parks Associates, commented: “California currently represents one-half of all net zero energy homes built in the U.S. The state has bold goals for all residential new construction to achieve ZNE by 2020.

“Other states have also adopted a similar top-down approach to incentivise ZNE adoption, but low energy costs are a barrier to generating ZNE demand. Parks Associates research shows one-third of homeowners report having a monthly electricity bill less than $100, so while many households recognise the value of ZNE, the immediate financial incentives are not there yet.

“Near-zero and zero-ready homes create more choice for consumers—Meritage Homes offered its first ZNE home six years ago to differentiate itself during the housing downturn.

“Federal tax credits and utility incentives can help drive adoption of energy-efficient solutions and the product manufacturers, trade associations and local suppliers can work together to drive awareness among builders about innovative solutions. Market opportunities also exist for high-efficiency appliances, home energy management equipment and smart home energy products and service providers to fill the gaps in household efficiency.”