Report | 2019

The Economics of Zero-Energy Homes

By Jacob CorvidaeMichael GartmanAlisa Petersen
Download the report below

NEW: Cold Climates Addendum offers additional guidance for ZE and ZER homes built in climate zones 6 and 7.

This report demonstrates that the cost increase to build a zero-energy or zero-energy ready home is modest—far less than consumers, builders, and policymakers realize—and highlights methods builders and policymakers can use to drive increased market penetration. Costs are expected to continue declining over time as this market matures:


Why It Matters

Building new single-family homes to ZE or ZER design standards represents a massive opportunity to address the carbon footprint of our building stock while providing value to homeowners, communities, and other stakeholder groups. Yet, ZE and ZER homes currently make up less than 2% of residential new construction, largely due to outdated or overstated cost assumptions. Because single family homes make up over 40% of the energy consumed by our building stock, increasing market penetration of ZE homes is essential to helping cities meet their aggressive greenhouse gas emission goals while creating a more clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.