Santa Monica Approves Zero-Net Energy Ordinance

A more energy efficient solution for construction

Santa Monica, CA is set to become the first city to approve an ordinance that requires new residential construction in the city to be zero-net energy (ZNE).

This means that the project would have to generate enough renewable energy to cover the energy used from the power utility during the course of one year.

The city’s definition of zero-net energy is “a building where the value of energy produced on-site by renewable energy resources is equal to the value of energy consumed annually by the building”.

California will be requiring all new residential construction to achieve zero-net energy by 2020 and for commercial by 2030.

The shift in renewable energy sources is growing across the country, showing the significance of energy management.

Many state and local governments, as well as corporations and small business have been implementing energy efficiency due to environmental and monetary benefits.

Figure one shows the increase on ZNE projects over time.

Growth in zero net energy projects graph

Why use zero-net energy?

Zero-net energy buildings are becoming increasingly common.

This is the smartest and easiest way to contribute to sustainability while decreasing energy bills annually.

With net zero, buildings are using the same amount of energy that they are producing through renewable energy, i.e. solar or wind power.

To achieve net zero, a building must reduce energy use with low-energy building technologies and combine this with a renewable energy source.

Here are some important factors to highlight about zero-net energy buildings:

  • Zero-net energy buildings save property owners and tenants money because of substantial energy savings.
  • 25% of all the world’s net-zero buildings are located in North America, showing the rapid growth of efforts towards sustainability in USA.
  • Zero-net energy buildings are needed to fight climate change. This could be the most fastest and effective way to increase sustainability.
  • A building does not have to be new to become a net-zero building. Older buildings can make use of energy management systems with renewable energy to reach net-zero.

There are various ways to increase efficiency and become a zero-net energy building to not only achieve monetary benefits, but environmental as well.

With different options available, now is better than ever to find out what works best for your building to help fight climate change and receive benefits in return.

 

 

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