Building Net-Zero Homes with Solar 

Anthony Aebi of Greenhill Contracting builds net-zero homes and we are proud to be his solar partner!

What makes a building net-zero?

Essentially, it means that a building produces more energy than it consumes. This is possible thanks to various types of renewable energy and also takes into consideration all of the home’s heating and cooling needs. Even in the Northeast, there’s more than enough sun to help homeowners reach net-zero. We’ve helped Aebi build 3 housing developments of net-zero homes—and they are a lot more than groovy little shacks!

Check out how to build a net zero home with solar

Aebi’s methods begin with energy planning. He designs his homes to use as little energy as possible. That means insulation all the way down, starting with the foundation. A well-insulated home means that it won’t need to use as much energy for heating and cooling. Plus, all the energy comes from renewable sources. Sometimes Aebi uses geothermal technology, but electric heat pumps are also a great option when paired with solar!

According to Project Drawdown, there is a “mosaic of solutions” that can be combined to achieve a net-zero building:

  • Well insulated and strategically placed windows
  • Efficient and carbon-free heating, cooling, and water systems
  • 360° of insulation
  • Smart-home technologies all decrease a building’s carbon footprint
  • A renewable energy solution, like solar!

Net-zero homes are generally more resilient than the average home. Because of his extraordinary attention to structure, Aebi expects his buildings to last “hundreds of years!” Pairing a net-zero solar home with energy storage also offers energy security in the event of a power outage.

Don’t fret if your house isn’t 100% airtight, though! If you do a life-cycle analysis of new homes, you’ll find that adding renewables to existing structures can be just as effective as building a new net-zero home.  It’s never too late to invest in technologies that can reduce your carbon footprint!


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