Zero net energy (ZNE) construction represents a vast opportunity for builders and architects. Although ZNE and zero energy ready (ZER) homes make up less than 1 percent of the residential market, the category represents a market opportunity of $33 billion by 2037, according to the Rocky Mountain Institute. A 2020 inventory of zero energy homes from Team Zero counted 28,000 homes, up 26 percent from the previous count in 2018, with another 30,000 in the pipeline.

So what is a zero net energy home? In the simplest terms, a ZNE home produces as much energy as it uses, most commonly using efficient construction methods and solar photovoltaic panels. As you’ll see, the term can be defined and measured in different ways. But achieving ZNE performance involves a whole-building design approach to consider all of a home’s systems — the building envelope, mechanical systems, and lighting and appliances — in an integrated way.

Now is the time to educate yourself about ZNE construction, both to meet customer demand and keep up with your competition. A survey performed by Harris Insights & Analytics for the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) found that 83 percent of homebuyers and 89 percent of builders are likely to consider a ZNE home for their next purchase or build. And about the same number — 81 percent of homebuyers and 84 percent of builders — are very or somewhat willing to pay more for a ZNE home.

That’s why we’ve developed “The Ultimate Guide to Zero Net Energy Building With Propane.” This e-book collects our most valuable resources on ZNE projects to help you define what ZNE means for your project and examine how factors such as energy prices, net metering policies, solar resources, incentives, and your budget affect your choice. You’ll see that getting to zero doesn’t mean giving up desirable and high-performance gas systems. So let’s find a strategy for getting to zero that works for your market — and thrills your clients.

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