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Net Zero Energy Homes

Net Zero Energy Homes are becoming increasingly popular in New Zealand.  As the cost of electricity in New Zealand continues to rise, without any apparent justification, New Zealanders are becoming resentful towards power companies and may seek an alternative to these companies.  One solution is Net Zero Energy Homes. 

Net Zero Energy Homes, or Zero Energy Homes, are built to reduce the amount of electricity required in a home. The home uses its own power through micro renewable energy generation sources.  Over the course of a year, the house is expected to produce more power than what is required. While some months will generate generous amounts of power, other months may require purchasing power from the grid.  But when adding up the total energy bill at the end of the year, the home aims to have a $0 power bill.

The ways a Net Zero Energy Home can produce power includes;

  • Solar PV
  • Solar Hot Water
  • Wind Power
  • Micro Hydro

The ways a Net Zero Energy Home can reduce the electrical demand;

  • LED lights
  • Passive Solar Design
  • Air Tightness
  • Energy Efficient Appliances
  • High R-value insulation
  • A Green Roof
  • Double glazing

Other goals of a Net Zero Home can include environmentally responsibe outcomes, health related and comfort. This includes grey water recycling, water efficient tap wear, non toxic building materials, recycled building materials, Low VOC paints and radiant heat.

The following video explains Net Zero Energy Homes. The main difference in the video is that in New Zealand building a Net Zero Energy home should be optimised to collect the suns heat from the north side of the house, not the south.

The best example of a Zero Energy Home in New Zealand is the Zero Energy House in Auckland, built by Shay Brazier and Jo Woods.

If the house is well designed, and is in a warm location, a heating source may not be required. If a heating source is required then underfloor heating combined with solar hot water panels or solar pv panels, is a popular option.

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