US company Ideal Homes has been building show homes for years which have included low energy and clean air provisions. For their latest they decided to go all out and see how cheaply they could build a zero energy house- one which fed as much electricity back to the grid as it consumed. The finished building came in at under $200,000, a price that they believe puts it in the range of most home buyers. The project has also increased the uptake of some of the technologies used in houses they’ve sold, a positive knock on effect in itself.
With the big push to build more homes perhaps the Government should look at giving tax breaks to builders who construct houses that approach zero energy or the people who buy them. It would only take a few people telling their neighbours about negative electric bills before everyone wanted some of that low energy goodness.