Interested in Zero Net Energy Homes? We Want You to Have One

Interested in Zero Net Energy Homes? We Want You to Have One

What if your home was so efficient that it produced as much energy as it used? What if you never had to pay another electricity bill? Green dreams like this are coming true all over the world. Whether you’re building or remodeling, a net zero energy home is well within your grasp. And, we really want you to have one.

Buildings are tremendous users of electricity, accounting for more than 70% of electricity use in the U.S. If we can get to net zero, we can make a huge difference in the fight against climate change. So, we’ve assembled tons of resources to try to make it as easy as possible for every homeowner (or soon-to-be) to take the necessary steps to create an ultra-efficient home (without sacrificing beauty, comfort, or your bank account). 

STEP 1: Scroll through this page to find the best place for you to start.

(Really, take 30 seconds to scroll through the whole page before clicking. We want to make your journey as efficient and effective as possible and that means finding the right place to dive in.)


Net Zero Homes 101

Zero Energy Upgrades Could Cost Zero Dollars

A simple calculation shows how you can have a zero energy home for the same price as a conventional one, and keep the monthly savings in your pocket. Here’s how it worked for Bruce.

A Roadmap to Building Affordable Zero Energy Homes

To achieve zero energy, designers and builders everywhere are employing an array of design concepts, product choices, and financing approaches. Because there are so many ideas, it seems appropriate to offer a quick rundown of the most cost-effective measures for getting to zero energy.

Green Home Building: Passive vs LEED vs Net-Zero Energy

There are many types of green home certifications and it can get overwhelming trying to understand the differences. Here’s an easy to comprehend breakdown of three of the most well-known standards to help guide your journey.

The Twelve Essential Steps to a Net Zero Energy Home

Did you know that most people will spend twice as much on energy for their house and car over the life of a thirty-year mortgage as they spend on the initial purchase of their house? A net zero energy home eliminates your utility bill by generating as much energy as...

Don't have time for research? How can we help?

The beautiful thing about high performance, green, net zero homes is that families can drastically reduce their carbon footprint with one simple decision without having to make any sacrifices. Living in this kind of home is not only better for the earth but also provides a more comfortable living experience and higher quality of life for its inhabitants.


Rick Thompson

Managing Partner, Bright Leaf Homes


Renewable Energy

Generate your own, buy it, or do a little of both. Any way you go, go with renewables. Learn how.



Want to peruse the pages of a book? These are filled with gorgeous green homes and priceless advice. View books.

Net Zero Heroes

We created a Net Zero Hero Hall of Fame to recognize and celebrate leaders in the field and to shine a light on the possibilities. View the Hall of Fame.


Energy Efficiency

You’ve probably read thousands of energy efficiency tips, these are the ones that really matter. Learn more.



Prefer to learn by watching? Here are videos for net-zero beginners, advanced, and everything in between. See videos.

Homes for sale

Looking to buy instead of build or renovate? Net zero energy homes are increasingly popping up in the real estate market. Click through to browse.


Rebates, Grants & More

Find national, state, and local financial incentives for making the net zero energy home leap. Learn more.


Case Studies

Get into the nitty-gritty details of net-zero energy homes with these in-depth studies of their inner workings. Learn more.

Net Zero Products

A NZE home doesn’t have to look different, but there are certain products that are better suited to help you achieve your energy goals. Click through to browse.


Innovations in a 107-Year-Old Net Positive Victorian Retrofit

This “Net Zero Victorian” shows that a standard city house on a standard city lot in chilly Minneapolis can be renovated to be net zero in energy with no sacrifice in attractiveness, space, or comfort.

“The Love Shack” – A Net-Zero Energy Home in North Carolina

Against the backdrop of North Carolina’s Lake Fontana, Blue Ridge and Great Smoky mountains, perched on a steep hillside, you will find the “Love Shack.” The “Love Shack,” is far from what anyone would consider a ‘shack.’

A Custom Living Building Challenge Home in Portland, OR

These homeowners decided to go for the Living Building Challenge. The Challenge is a strict rating system that leaps far beyond LEED in its requirements for non-toxic, locally sourced materials for every component of the building.

Tour a Luxury Sustainable Mountain Getaway

Known as the “Lodgepole Retreat,” the high-alpine, uber-energy-efficient “cabin” with floor-to-ceiling windows and lots of natural light is set among a 30-acre meadow and a grove of lodgepole pines.

Palo Alto Net Zero Energy House Shows You Can Have It All

Building a Beacon Stuart is a man on a mission and his home is just one testament to his drive. I have always enjoyed nature and spending time outdoors (hiking, mountain biking, trail running, rock climbing, mountaineering). When I started reading about climate change...

Acre Designs Net-Zero Energy Homes

Acre Designs builds net-zero energy homes that allow you to focus on life, not upkeep — or energy bills. Efficiency is at the heart of an Acre home. The result: a home that functions better, is more comfortable, and is dramatically better for the environment. The aim is to replace today’s out-of-date houses with innovative, attainable, high-quality homes that are better for people and the planet.

Miami Modern EcoSteel Prefab

When EcoSteel client David Rifkind and his wife, Holly Zickler set out to build The Tin Box, they didn’t realize their project would become such a large public spectacle. This green design has since drawn the attention of neighbors and news channels alike; just one of many unintended consequences they have experienced by building their home from 100 percent recycled steel materials.

Tah.Mah.Lah: The Environmentally Regenerative Home

Every aspect of the creation of this house is intended to have a minimal environmental impact and hopes to have a restorative effect, while still providing an environment appropriate for the family and the broader community.


Even though net-zero energy home building and renovation is still relatively new to the landscape, there are many pros out there ready to help you. If you’re looking for hands-on help in your neighborhood, here’s a directory of pros – architects, builders, HVAC, and more. Hiring pros familiar with the ins and outs of net-zero will save you the headaches of trying to get someone up to speed, and the time and money non-experts will burn through.

Click through to find net-zero energy pros.


Percent of total energy use buildings account for in US


Percent of CO2 emissions buildings are responsible for


Percent growth in net-zero energy home builds in 2016

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