Getting Started: The NZEN Process



Step 1


Free NZEN Calculator
The first step towards a Net Zero Energy home is to asses if the home design can provide sufficient south facing, un-shaded roof or ground area for a roof or ground mount solar electric system respectively. Our free calculator provides all this information and more. Just go the energy calculator on the home page and get started.

Step 2


If your project requires a more detailed examination NZEN we will provide a written proposal for the scope of consultation with expected costs.

The process is similar and often piggybacks the New Solar Homes Partnership. The NSHP is a California utility funded program that gives a large financial incentive (roughly one half of the cost) to new home builders that are installing grid tie solar electric systems. The steps shown below with an asterisk are required by NSHP in order for you to receive the incentive. NZEN adds several important steps to insure that your home is truly Net Zero Energy.

1. Calculation: If the client accepts our proposal, they will submit Title 24 energy compliance documentation completed by a CEPE (Certified Energy Plans Examiner)showing that the building beat the state energy code by at least 15%*. If the Title 24 calculations have not been completed our sister company Monterey Energy Group, Inc. is a CEPE and can do them for an additional charge.

2. Consultation: Receive and review your custom Net Zero Energy use algorithm. This is an interactive client consultation to determine the variations between the standard load profiles estimated by the Department of Energy and the actual demand estimated by the client.. This document helps us determine actual future energy use. At this time the client can also submit any specific energy consumption requirements. We can now properly size the solar system.

3. Design: Submit your mechanical design showing the size and specifications for your heating, cooling, domestic hot water and solar electric system. This can be produced by a California contractor licensed in the appropriate trade or by a licensed California Engineer, but the equipment schedule must meet the requirements of the overall NZEN plan. Our sister company Monterey Energy Group, Inc. is a mechanical engineering company and can provide the mechanical specs and solar design for an additional fee if this has not already been done for your project.

4. Verification: During construction, third party HERS inspections are required determine actual home performance with insulation quality, blower door, and duct blaster operation tests, as required.

5. Documentation: After inspections and installation of energy related systems CF-4R forms (results of HERS inspections) and CF-6R forms (signed document by the installing contractor for insulation levels, windows performance, HVAC efficiency etc.) submitted to both NSHP and NZEN*