Maximizing Residential Energy Savings: Net Zero Energy Home Technology Pathways

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Significant increases in residential energy efficiency are required to meet emerging
global and U.S. goals. This report provides an overview of the key residential efficiency technology opportunities and barriers that must be addressed to successfully develop cost-neutral net zero-energy homes (ZEHs). New technologies and systems must increase whole-house energy savings by an additional 40 percent relative to those that can be currently provided by best available residential components and systems. Systems that represent a minimum set of efficiency required to achieve cost-effective net ZEHs include:

  • High-R Wall Systems
  • Cold climate domestic hot water (DHW) system
  • Cold climate R-10 window assembly
  • Very high performance (VHP) A/C system
  • MEL reduction

High-performance homes that meet these specifications can be easily operated to minimize energy use during peak utility electric demand.

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