Using Energy and Cost Modeling for Net Zero Energy Homes

energy and cost modelingA Net-Zero Energy home is a building designed or retrofitted to be as efficient as possible so that it consumes no more energy than it produces. This allows for huge reductions in gas and electric bills, and makes your home much more valuable, but it can be difficult to know where to start. Whether you are starting from scratch or redesigning an existing house in search of a truly green home, begin by having a Scottsdale Net-Zero Energy home builder walk you through the process of energy and cost modeling.

Determine Most Cost Effective Energy Saving Solutions

Taking advantage of energy and cost modeling early in the process of designing or redesigning your home helps determine the most cost effective energy saving features. Depending on the location of your home, both in your climate region and in the specific local and seasonal conditions of the site, it may be more efficient to focus on particular systems to maximize your energy savings. A model that takes into account the specifics of your building or site, your heating and lighting preferences, and your use of electronics and appliances will highlight which areas of the design need adjustment or attention.

Compare and Choose Designs

Once you and your designer have identified the areas of heaviest energy use and the constraints of your location, you will find that there are quite a few different ways to move forward in the design process. You can try various combinations of design features and model their effects in order to select those that balance comfort with energy efficiency, all before you start to build or rebuild your home.

Continuing to use energy modeling throughout the process helps you compare the energy impact of the various tweaks and changes on different Net-Zero Energy designs, allowing you to make further adjustments to the design plans that take into account the decisions you have already made. The model addresses both the energy impact and the cost-effectiveness of changes and features, it can help you reach your goals for home energy impact at the least possible expense.

Generate HERS and EPS Ratings

There are quite a few systems of analyzing the energy efficiency of a building, but two of the most significant are your HERS (Home Energy Rating System) and EPS (Energy Performance Score). The HERS index is a system that combines real-world measurements with modeled ones; it requires inspection of the building envelope, the air ducts, conditioned and unconditioned areas, air and water heating and cooling systems, ceiling and wall insulation, doors, windows, and a handful of other variables.

This information is compared to a modeled home with the same dimensions as your completed home and assigned a score that shows your home’s efficiency as compared to a standard new home of its type. Simply put, a lower HERS score means a more energy-efficient home, and a score of zero certifies your house as a Net-Zero Energy home. The EPS score is a newer and slightly more complex system: a lower score here also indicates greater efficiency, but this measure also allows you to compare your home to similar existing homes and offers information on carbon emissions. These scales examine all the same variables that went into the energy model during the design process, and they are the standard measures to determine whether a completed home is a Net-Zero Energy home.


Contact the Net-Zero Energy building experts at Peak One Builders & Restoration to learn more about building a custom cutting-edge energy efficient home. Request a free estimate or call 480-378-0611 now!


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