In a recent article published by Builder Magazine, a home construction company in Midland, Mich. shared how they created a demonstration home to prove that “net-zero-energy living is attainable at an affordable price.”
Since we’re all about affordability and saving energy, we couldn’t help but be intrigued by this new project. (Each of our new homes includes Energy Star appliances, Ecostar windows, and energy efficient insulation and seals, among other items.)
The builder says that attaining a net-zero home isn’t all about solar panels and windmills, it’s actually about tight sealing and insulation. The home is anticipated to save $2,441 in energy costs annually and generate as much power as it consumes.
The house was kept at an affordable price — valued at around $250,000, including the lot — by using low-cost alternatives to high-end finishes and amenities. One example — the builder used fiberglass shower surrounds instead of tile.
The project relies on many products and technologies from Michigan-based Dow, including Styrofoam structural insulated sheathing (SIS), insulating foam sealants and weather barriers, and the company’s new Powerhouse solar shingles.
What do you think of net-zero homes? Would you make affordable changes to your house if it resulted in using less energy and lower bills?