Net Zero Energy Homes Press Release

Zero-Energy Homes Gain Momentum

First-ever survey finds over 6,700 residences in the U.S. and Canada are on track to produce as much energy than they consume


Shilpa Sankaran

Executive Director, Net-Zero Energy Coalition

(415) 857 5610

Ann Edminster

Board Member, Net-Zero Energy Coalition

(650) 355-9150

Ed Mazria

Founder, Architecture 2030

(505) 988-5309 ext. 14

San Francisco, CA, January 11, 2016 – For the first time ever, a comprehensive effort is underway to catalog all of the zero-energy buildings in the United States and Canada.


The initial survey from the Net-Zero Energy Coalition found that there are currently 6,771 residential units across 3,330 buildings that are zero energy—buildings that produce as much renewable energy as they consume, or could do so with slight modifications.


California leads the way in zero energy building, with 3,652 zero energy units. Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut round out the top five U.S. states or Canadian provinces with zero energy units.


For cities, Sacramento, California takes the top spot, with 925 zero energy units followed by Davis, California with 892 residences and Portland, Oregon with 318.


“For the first time, we know where we stand with residential zero energy buildings in the United States and Canada, and we can use this information to track our progress and trends moving forward,” said Shilpa Sankaran, Net-Zero Energy Coalition’s executive director. “The numbers show major movement toward zero beyond current expectations, which should enable the market to see the feasibility of zero energy residential buildings from a financial, technical and market perspective.”


The construction sector is responsible for 30 percent of global emissions, so reducing energy consumption from buildings is crucial. The sector has the potential to significantly decrease its emissions by 2050 through mainstreaming today’s available state-of-the-art policies and technologies.


“To meet the goals of the recent Paris climate agreement, the world must reach zero carbon emissions from fossil fuels in the urban built environment by about 2050,” said Ed Mazria, architect and CEO of the think tank Architecture 2030. “This can only be achieved if the building sector moves quickly to ensure that zero-net-energy or carbon neutral buildings become the standard design and construction approach.”


Zero energy is fast becoming the building method of the 21st century and is expected to grow more than six-fold by 2017.


“We are seeing a huge increase in the demand for zero energy homes,” said Carter Scott, head of Transformations Inc., a green construction company. “People want homes that are resilient, good for the environment, comfortable and cost effective.  They can afford them because the mortgaged cost of the additional energy efficient features is less that what they save in monthly energy bills.”


Construction costs for a zero energy home are on par with those of a conventional house, but more attention is paid to energy conservation. The only additional cost is adding the solar panels, though with new leasing options that does not cost consumers anything out of pocket in many places.


This is the first phase of a two-part project by the Net-Zero Energy Coalition, which will translate lessons learned, market acceptance, construction methodologies and cost implications to the mass market. Phase II of the project will involve collecting detailed case studies in an online database for public access to best practices.


The Net-Zero Energy Coalition is a collaboration of architects, builders, utilities, manufacturers and others championing a transformation of the built environment to zero energy by executing initiatives that unite the industry. Its mission is to accelerate market adoption of zero energy buildings and communities in order to make the built environment a positive asset on the balance sheet for the planet.