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U.S. and Canadian Zero Energy Residence Inventory Grows 59% in 2018

Single- and multi-family units total over 22,000 with increase in large multi-family projects

The market for residential zero energy buildings continues to show growth across the United States and Canada, according to the “Zero Energy Residential Buildings Study” recently released by TEAM ZERO, formerly known as the Net Zero Energy Coalition. The report documents 22,146 units that are either in design, construction, or operation, representing a 59% increase over the prior year inventory. These include single-family and multi-family projects that are working to achieve zero energy or zero energy-ready performance. In addition, there are 31,000 residential units in the planning stages that are not included in the current count.

A zero energy, or net zero energy building, produces as much renewable energy as it consumes over a year. It typically has low energy demand and is powered by solar panels either onsite or nearby. Zero energy-ready homes have energy efficiency performance, which with the addition of renewable energy sources would bring them to full zero energy levels. This study, now in its fourth year, works to answer questions about the viability of zero energy homes in different markets, climates, and political jurisdictions.

Other findings of the study include:

  • Larger multi-family buildings are increasingly dominating the zero-energy housing stock.
  • More projects are seeking zero energy performance with integrated renewables — The report shows a 7.2% increase in the percent of projects pursuing zero energy over zero energy-ready (73.8% and 21.7% in 2017, now 66.6% and 29%, respectively).
  • California is leading in number of projects (6,828) with New York in second place (3,022). The Southwest is a stronghold with California, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas claiming a total of nearly 9,600 units.
  • In Canada, there was a 240% increase in the number of zero energy units over 2017.
  • Multi-family projects now represent 71% of the total zero energy residential stock. Although multi-family zero energy has shown steady gains over single-family since the first inventory in 2015, this is a substantial increase over 2017 (60%). In Canada, multi-family is even more dominant than in the United States, with 90% of its zero energy units in multifamily projects, versus 67% in the United States.
  • Future trends to watch that were spotlighted in TEAM ZERO's findings include: community microgrids, electrification, grid integration and harmonization, and zero carbon.

To view an on-demand webinar about the report's findings, visit newbuildings.org/webinar/zero-energy-homes-show-continuing-strong-growth/.

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