The zero-energy, or net-zero, project has been changing the way people build residential and commercial properties for years. Designers, developers, builders, and buyers have been collaborating on shifting the real estate market to buildings with zero energy consumption. Generally, zero-energy buildings (ZEB) rely on renewables as their primary energy source, paired with high-efficiency features like windows and insulation, to maximize their energy consumption.
Texas Zero-Energy Movement
Texas, a leading solar state, is no stranger to renewables. You may even remember in 2015 when Georgetown, Texas aimed to power itself with 100% renewables. Unfortunately, the small city’s ambitions were not totally realized. Nevertheless, the attempt reflected the state’s willingness to diversify energy sources and embrace renewables while foreshadowing widespread rushes for renewables across the country.
Zero-Energy Homes in Texas
So, what does a zero-energy home look like in Texas? Well, there are smart home or zero-energy home builders, like our partners at Solar Builders, but you can always outfit your current home with zero-energy features.
First, conduct an energy management inspection. What you need depends on the condition of your home. And, there may be simple fixes to make your home more energy-efficient, like resealing windows and doors. The Zero Energy Project catalogs more quick, inexpensive fixes on their site.
But going completely net-zero requires more: renewable energy. And, in Texas, that means solar panels. You can create all the energy your home consumes with the addition of solar panels. For Texans genuinely committed to going zero-energy, solar is the best way to achieve that goal.
The Zero-Energy Movement in the United States
While Texas has been on the cutting edge of the zero-energy movement, the federal government is just catching up.
In April 2021, the Department of Energy released its plans for moving to net-zero. The article states that the administration plans to do all they can to reach net-zero carbon emissions, 40% of which come from burning fossil fuels. Their plan: offshore wind power and making solar 60% cheaper. Ultimately, their goal is to create jobs, mitigate the effects of climate change, and encourage more Americans to support renewables at the local level.
And, it seems so far that getting Americans onboard should be relatively easy. The Zero Energy movement began to pick up serious steam as far back as 2018 when ZEB builders saw a 59% increase in projects compared to 2017.
Looking back at past severe weather events across the nation, and looking forward in anticipation of more, Americans are thinking more seriously about going solar than ever before. Not just to cut back on fossil fuel consumption but also to keep the lights on as pervasive outages brought on by bad weather foretells more grim disasters like Texas saw in February 2021, and California sees with increasingly severe wildfires in the summer. The urgency to go zero-energy is heightening in Texas and beyond.
If you’re interested in committing to the zero-energy lifestyle, contact us today and learn more about how solar panels can help you save money and the environment at the same time.