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Published on : Feb 20, 2015

The trend of net-zero homes has been growing for quite some while now. Promoted as the perfect remedy to global warming due to their efficiency and practicality, net-zero homes generate their own electricity thanks to abundant usage of renewable energy sources such as solar energy and wind power, freely available to most if not all residential complexes. Such homes not only produce their own power, but often generate a surplus due to the usually-low energy requirements of the average household, and many in developed countries such as the U.S. and Canada even fed some of their generated power back into the central grid to reduce the nonrenewable power consumption of an entire community. Such homes with an energy surplus were then awarded credits by the energy departments of the respective localities so that their own consumption of grid electricity incurred lower costs.

The city of Columbia recently got its very first net-zero house and the concept is rapidly generating interest among locals. The building produces enough electricity as an annual average to satisfy its own energy demands and lower the annual average energy consumption down to zero. Bill View, the executive director of Show-Me Central Habitat for Humanity, said he expects the house, listed for sale at US$125,000 by Habitat, to be sold by the end of the month.

The house contains a roof over which a plate of solar power generators is laid. The energy generation of the house naturally fluctuates seasonally: the house is expected to produce a surplus of energy during the summer, which will be credited to the owner’s account in the utilities, to be spent during the sunlight-depraved winter months. Depending on the individual energy consumption habits of each family, the solar panels on the roof of the net-zero house could generate enough energy for a family of four, according to View.