Zero Net Energy - Concepts
Increase energy efficiency through careful monitoring and continuous adjustment.
What does ZNE mean?
The term Zero Net Energy often gets shortened to ZNE.
It means that you generate enough energy over the year to provide all the energy you need over the year. If your house is super insulated and air tight then you will not need much energy to heat it so you will not have to generate much energy to get to Zero Net Energy.
Houses currently biggest energy hogs
Currently in the USA, the houses are responsible for 25% of the energy that the country consumes.
Photo Voltaic (PV) panels
Using Photo Voltaic (PV) panels is the most obvious way to generate power but there are other alternative energy sources too.
You may be lucky enough to have a government incentive in your area to help with the capital outlay necessary to purchase PV panels.
What you need to do to get to ZNE is different depending on where you live. If you are in a cold climate then you need to reduce your heating requirements and if you are in a hot climate you need to reduce your air conditioning requirements.
Almost all energy goes to heat
Almost all the energy you use (eg from the electricity or gas company) gets turned into heat. Other things energy gets turned into are light and motion, but these are insignificant compared with the amount that gets turned into heat.
If the energy usage is with a super insulated building enclosure and the weather outside requires you to heat your house then using appliances within your house is not a problem because the energy used by the appliances is reducing the energy that your heating system needs to use. It is much better to use your TV to heat your house because you get the additional benefit of entertainment as well as heat.