August 20, 2015, 3:48 pm

Never Leave ‘Home’ Without ‘Ready’

Last month, we shared how green rating systems stack up. Now, we are focusing on just one of those ratings – Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH).

What is a ZERH and why is it called that? The ZERH rating endorses the sustainability and high efficiency of a Zero Energy home and protects builders from false pretenses with the addition of ‘Ready.’ A ZERH is at least 40 to 50 percent more efficient than a traditional home but what separates it from a home with zero utility bills is a renewable energy system. It can almost offset its annual energy consumption but many factors can affect utility costs, such as homeowner habits, occupancy levels and adverse weather conditions.

Take the ZERH-certified Village Park Eco Home in Double Oak, Texas, for example, which saves almost $1,700 a year in utilities. Its efficiency earned the home the 2014 Housing Innovation Award and has garnered the attention of over 1,300 tourists. Builder Wayne Atkins said building the Village Park Eco Home was an easy decision and a step in the right direction. He intends on making it a Zero Energy Home to increase his savings even more. He shared, “solar may not be cost effective now but, in a few years it will be and we’ll be ready for it.”

Atkins isn’t the only one going to the greener side. More and more builders and homeowners are willing to put in a little now to get a lot out later. They’re willing to position themselves for better efficiency by making smarter choices for the home. Cooling and heating accounts for nearly half of a home’s energy consumption so, for those heading down the ZERH path, installing a high-performing HVAC system like ours would be a smart place to start.

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