KB Home, one of the largest homebuilders in the U.S., has developed ZeroHouse 2.0, a house designed to achieve net-zero energy. The home is currently available in Tampa, Florida, and in San Antonio and Austin, Texas, but the company plans to expand the availability of net-zero options to other cities throughout 2012. Energy Star is now a minimum standard for all KB homes, but the ZeroHouse option goes beyond that standard, incorporating photovoltaic (PV) arrays in addition to energy-efficient HVAC systems and appliances and increased insulation.
For homes in the southern part of the country, these features add about $50,000 to the cost of the home, but KB estimates that occupants will save as much as $1,000 a year in utility bills. These projected savings are expressed in a previously released proprietary “EPG” label, reflecting a marketing strategy designed to tie energy savings to affordability.
Copyright 2011 by BuildingGreen Inc.