Zero Energy Residential Optimization - Community Achievement (ZERO-CA)

Demonstrating a Cost-Competitive Zero Net Energy Community

California Homebuilding Foundation (CHF)

Recipient

Sacramento, CA

Recipient Location

6th

Senate District

7th

Assembly District

beenhere

$4,469,630

Amount Spent

closed

Completed

Project Status

Project Result

A draft final report is in progress and will include data through 2020. Study results indicate that only 7% of homebuyers can define what is a ZNE home, but 72% believe that energy efficiency is very important. Analysis revealed that the most cost-effective single energy efficiency measure varied by climate zone, and the only measure that consistently performed in the top 10 of being most cost-effective was the heat pump water heater. The study also revealed that all-electric appliances for a home cost $200-$500 less than natural gas appliances when natural gas infrastructure savings are included, such as plumbing and flue vents. These findings, while consistent with other electrification analyses, are not consistent with feedback from builders who report that all-electric appliances are $2,200-$3,500 more expensive due to the need for equipment oversizing to meet heating loads and avoid use of supplemental electric resistance heating. Results to be shared with the industry.

The Issue

Although the construction of a number of single (one-off) Zero Net Energy (ZNE) homes has established that achieving ZNE in residential construction is technically feasible, it is less clear whether ZNE construction can cost-effectively be brought to scale from a developers perspective, as any additional upfront costs can lead to a loss in competitiveness . Additionally, the State will need improved methods for estimating and controlling the consumption of unregulated loads in residential buildings, which has grown and is projected to continue growing.

Project Innovation

The project serves as proof of concept for large-scale deployment of Zero Net Energy (ZNE) single-family homes in California. The objective is to assess how to construct ZNE homes without creating undue cost burdens on builders, businesses or consumers, and while assuring that changes to home design do not pose health, safety or other risks to occupants. This assessment will be done with a focus on cost control for ZNE construction by developing cost-effective packages of measures that include both commercially available and emerging technologies that meet the requirements of the Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24, Part 6) as well as unregulated measures. In addition to builder cost savings passed to consumers in sales price, the project will assess and optimize actual consumer utility cost savings from ownership of ZNE homes.

Project Benefits

Working closely with the builder and subcontractors, technology costs were evaluated and along with a real-world perspective on actual time and labor spent to install and commission each of the new technologies versus only the technology cost. By providing this data and analysis, this project serves as a roadmap on the most effective ways to implement ZNE homes. The information gathered was disseminated through various project participants such as California Building Industry Association (CBIA) events and member newsletters in efforts to promote the potential for cost-effective ZNE to the builder community.

Lower Costs

Affordability

The project focused on cost control for ZNE construction and developed cost-effective packages of measures that include both commercially available and emerging technologies that meet the requirements of the Building Energy Efficiency Standards as well as unregulated measures. Builder cost savings passed to consumers in sales price, the project assessed and optimized actual consumer utility cost savings from ownership of ZNE homes.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Terri Brunson

Subrecipients

Rocket

ConSol

Rocket

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Rocket

The Regents of the University of California on behalf of the Davis Campus

Rocket

Energy Solutions International

Rocket

McHugh Energy Consultants

Rocket

Opinion Dynamics Corporation

Rocket

De Young Properties

Rocket

Greenworks Consulting

Rocket

California Building Industry Association (CBIA)

Rocket

Desiree Webb

Rocket

Gary Klein

Rocket

Economic & Planning Systems

Rocket

Ferguson Enerprises

Rocket

Duct Testers, Inc

Rocket

Metro Study

Rocket

Bulldog Event Group

Rocket

Match Partners

Rocket

California Homebuilding Foundation (CHF)

Rocket

Contact the Team

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