Tag Archives: Zero-net Energy Homes

From theory to practice: The challenges in moving to ‘Utility 2.0’

By Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

For all the theorizing about what the utility of the future will look like, real world examples of how to adapt current power sector business models to the new world of renewables and distributed resources can seem few and far between.

While utilities often trumpet their new smart grid technologies, microgrid projects and storage pilots, actually working out how to make those solutions scalable and profitable can be a lot harder than it looks from the outside.

But utilities across the nation can learn from each other’s experiences, with the aim that the questionable technologies of the day can become the ubiquitous tools of tomorrow.

That was the goal of the emerging technologies panel at the recently-concluded Energy Storage North America 2015 conference in San Diego. There, representatives from four major utilities—PG&E, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Southern California Edison, and Consolidated Edison—highlighted the challenges and successes of a diverse set of DER pilots, hoping their struggles could translate into easier adoption of distributed resources and demand side resources at other companies…

Read full article from Utility Dive

Zero-net energy home pilot set to open in Fontana

By Ivan Penn, The Los Angeles Times

Global renewable giant SunEdison announced Wednesday that it would supply advanced battery technology for nine Southern California homes that will generate and store their own energy. The first of the project’s so-called zero-net energy homes, which are being built in Fontana, is expected to be completed by the end of September with the remaining eight finished by the first quarter of 2016.

A zero-net energy home is supposed to generate as much energy as it consumes. SunEdison, which develops, finances and installs equipment for renewable energy sources such as solar, designed a system that will monitor and control how energy is used in the homes. SunEdison partnered with builder Meritage Homes and Southern California Edison to develop the project. SunEdison is supplying a five-kilowatt battery for each of the homes.

The effort, led by the Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto, is considered an important part of future grid planning. The California Public Utilities Commission’s Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan aims to have all new homes be zero-net energy, beginning in 2020. For commercial buildings, the target year is 2030.

Read full article in the Los Angeles Times

Related Article: SunEdison supplies batteries for net-zero energy homes in California (Computerworld)

California Wants All New Homes to Be Net Zero in 2020

By Katherine Tweed, Greentech Media

California has moved one step closer to making one of its “big, bold energy-efficiency strategies” outlined seven years ago a reality.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) have launched a residential Zero Net Energy Action Plan to build a self-sustaining market for all new homes to be net-zero energy by 2020.

“Zero Net Energy has been a vision for California for nearly 10 years, and with this industry-supported Action Plan, we are now ready to make that vision a reality with feasible, market-driven concepts to transform the new residential housing market,” CPUC Commissioner Carla J. Peterman said in a statement.

Zero-net-energy buildings produce as much energy as they consume, usually through a mix of high efficiency and clean onsite generation. The definition requires that a home create as much energy as it uses over the course of an entire year, rather than on a real-time basis.

In California, homes consume nearly one-third of the energy used in the state. It’s not just single-family homes that California is trying to reinvent. The action plan also applies to multifamily homes of less than three stories and low-income housing.

While the prospect of being able to develop net-zero, or passive, homes is increasingly realistic due to falling prices for solar and the increased efficiency of many household appliances, it’s still not easy.

Read full article from Greentech Media

(TAGS: Zero-net-energy, passive homes)