National Grid zero energy ready homes pilot drives a new energy future for residences

Residential efficiency programs with ultra-low energy and even zero energy targets are gaining steam across the country with National Grid being one of the latest utility efficiency programs to announce a pilot for net zero energy (NZE) ready homes. This pilot was developed with National Grid’s Residential New Construction and Path to Zero Energy Ready Homes programs and h.a. Fisher Homes. Kicking off with a press event in early April, the Wynfield Place development is located in Warwick, Rhode Island, and will include nine single level condominiums, with some scheduled to be completed by fall 2019. The development will also be used for the ongoing education of builders and developers through the construction process as a way to train those interested in NZE principals and construction methods.

“We applaud this net zero residential development because it will contribute to the Governor’s clean energy goals and help reduce our state’s greenhouse gas emissions,” said State Energy Commissioner Carol Grant. “By combining the latest in energy efficiency technology with solar power, these net zero homes are the future and they serve as a model for others to follow.”

A net zero energy home is highly energy efficient and uses only as much energy as it produces through onsite renewable power such as solar panels. NZE-ready homes have efficiencies on par with NZE performance, but do not have the onsite renewables. While the National Grid pilot aims to drive greater numbers of net zero energy ready homes in its service area, NZE and NZE-ready residences can already be found across New England (including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont). New Buildings Institute found a total 652 single family and multifamily buildings that are achieving NZE performance, working toward that goal, or are NZE ready.

National Grid celebrating the start of construction on Rhode Island’s first ZE residential development.

Along with the financial advantages that producing your own power brings, such as lower energy bills and higher resale value, homes built to be ZE are super-efficient, resilient in bad weather, comfortable, and more affordable than ever to the average home buyer. ZE homes, both single-family and multifamily, have been built in all regions and all climate zones in the U.S.

National Grid is not the only utility working in the Northeast to drive residential zero energy and low carbon projects. NYSERDA is working on the Solara Apartments, close to completion in Schenectady, NY. This “ecoluxury” apartment complex is the second built by Bruns Realty Group LLC and it will help New York state reach its target of a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The recently published 2019 New York Net Zero Energy Status Report documents commercial projects in New York that have achieved or are striving for NZE performance. The report also documents Passive House and ultra-low energy buildings.

NBI is in the process of adding additional zero energy residential resources to our ZE Resource Hub in the next few weeks. Sign up to receive updates. Read more about the work by clicking on the poster below.