Zero Energy Building, A Home Without Utility Bills
With this zero energy building guide, you can learn about eliminating those
monthly utility bills. Also called net zero building, it describes a building where the energy it
produces in a year is equal to the energy that is required by the building in that year.
Although they are still relatively uncommon today, these buildings are gaining
popularity as the cost of energy continues to rise. The first part of this process is reducing the
amount of energy the home requires. This is much easier in the design stage of a new building but can be
done in retrofit applications as well. The second part is to harvest energy from sources that are
available at the site.
There are two basic types of systems to power these homes and they are commonly
called off-grid and grid-tie systems.
The main problem with producing your own electricity is that you cannot always
produce the electricity when you need it. That requires storing the energy and there are two basic ways
to do so.
A grid-tie system still has the wires from the utility coming into the home and
so, when you are unable to provide the electricity that you need, the utility can provide the power.
When you are producing power and not using it in the home, the power is then fed back to the
An off-grid system does not have those wires from the power company and uses
batteries to store the electricity in the home. This type of system is usually more expensive.