Energy Generation

The Solar Electric System

The linchpin of a Net Zero Energy home is the solar electric system. We are pleased to work in partnership with manufacturers, distributors and installers of solar electric systems and encourage their participation in our Sponsor/Member program for promoting their services. Our job is to size the solar electric system in relation to the home loads. In most cases, the solar electric system will be significantly larger than normal because a Net Zero Energy home is serving the electrical needs of the whole house. NZE certified will work with the home designer to accommodate the most aesthetically appealing location of the solar panels for the end user.

Solar Hot Water

When employed in a Net Zero Energy home, a solar hot water system is displacing electrical load, so the solar hot water system works in concert with a solar electric system by reducing the need for more solar electric panels. Because solar hot water panels collect solar energy more efficiently that solar electric panels, the use of solar hot water is highly recommended in Net Zero Energy homes.

Energy Conservation

Every Net Zero Energy Certified building will be designed with the most efficient and cost effective insulation, infiltration techniques, windows, lighting and appliances and HVAC and hot water systems to significantly lower the electrical load of the building. Remember, extra electrical load means more money and space for solar.


Heat Pumps:

To achieve a Net Zero Energy building it is necessary to use electric HVAC heat, cooling and hot water generation solutions that solar electric can offset without carbon production. There are newly introduced reliable, super efficient technologies that can reduce the electric space conditioning and hot water generation to a point where solar electric can cost effectively generate sufficient energy annually to meet Net Zero Energy goals.

Air to Water Heat Pumps

There is a new generation of air to water heat pumps, widely used in Europe, but just introduced to America that provide extremely efficient performance for heating, cooling and hot water generation. This technology has been a missing link for integrated Net Zero Energy solutions..

Geothermal Heat Pumps

We have successfully used geothermal heat pumps in Net Zero Energy projects and Geothermal heat pumps provide efficiencies slightly higher than air to water heat pumps but the extra expense for ground loops makes them cost prohibitive in most residential applications.

Air to Air Heat Pumps

Super high SEER air to air heat pumps are available are now available. However they do not supply super efficient hot water generation that is so often key to a cost effective Net Zero Energy solution.

Water Heater Heat Pumps

A new generation of heat pump water heaters are entering the market which can match up with air to air heat pumps for a complete solution. At this point there are no cost effective models that provide an annual COP exceeding 2. The hydronic heat pumps are twice as efficient thus being the optimal choice at this time.


Title 24 in California has driven the race for ever more efficient and cost effective windows to the point where standard Energy Star windows are very effective. While in certain projects more efficient windows may be called for, codes have already driven the market to cost effective solutions.


Net Zero Energy Certified will work with the client and/or the lighting designer to provide the optimal mix of efficiency, cost and execution of the lighting design goals.


NZE Certified will specify only Energy Star appliances within certain performance parameters. The Architect and client must select specific appliances that will meet their personal requirements.