A Net-Zero home is one that has the ability to produce as much energy as it consumes and sometimes more. This is done using clean, renewable energy resources in conjunction with a home that is extremely well-insulated and energy-efficient. While the initial cost of construction may be higher, the benefits of a Net-Zero home make up for the expense – and so much more.
1. Higher Market Value
The extra cash spent during the construction of a Net-Zero home is a strong investment as the market value of these homes is higher than homes with standard construction. Many people are now actively seeking homes that have eco-friendly options and better overall energy efficiency so these upgrades add real value to your home.
2. Lower Long-Term Ownership Costs
While the mortgage payment for a Net-Zero home may be a bit higher than a conventional home, the costs of operating a house stack up quickly. Heating, cooling, water heating, lighting, appliances, and the dozens of electronics we plug in every day are likely to add up to more than the difference in mortgage payments so you’ll come out ahead. Plus, many Net-Zero homes are able to produce more energy than they consume so you could end up getting paid for the energy you add to the grid.
3. Increased Comfort
One of the key elements of a Net-Zero home is lots of insulation and airtight construction. This means that there are no more cold drafts in the winter causing you to grab a sweater and no more hot rooms in the summer that do not ever seem comfortable. Extra thick walls and windows also block out more noise making your home a quiet refuge, and the use of fewer chemicals throughout the home make the air better to breathe.
4. Earth Friendly
Using smart energy sources like solar power means no carbon emissions to poison the air and contribute to climate change. Avoiding nonrenewable energy sources such as propane and natural gas for heat and cooking not only reduce carbon emissions, but it also reduces the damage done from mining and transporting these fuels. Not depending on fossil-fuel-burning power plants for electricity is just as Earth-friendly.
5. A Net-Zero Home Will Set You Free
Having a Net-Zero home means that you’ll no longer be at the mercy of fluctuating energy prices and months of extreme temperatures that break the bank. You will also spend less time sorting through different energy bills and making payments every month. If the power ever goes out, the higher levels of insulation will keep your home comfortable for longer stretches of time and your overall energy needs would be so low that backup power is easier to provide in the event of a long-term outage. Not being bound to the energy companies will set you free.
Be the Change
It’s not easy to step out ahead of the pack and make bold changes that go against the conventional lifestyle. It takes courage and leadership to know that every small step towards sustainable living can make a difference. The most recent report from the U.N. about global warming warns that the effects of climate change are already occurring in every corner of the globe. It also says that managing climate change is a challenge of adaptation – something that people are very good at doing. A Net-Zero home can be a symbol of this adaptation. It can be an inspiration for the neighbors or the next generation – anyone who wants to make a difference but is not sure where to start.