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Zero net energy home unveiled in East Bay

Super-green prototype is part of PG&E’s Zero Net Energy showcase
  • PulteGroup's green prototype is designed to generate as much energy as it consumes.
  • The builder will analyze the export/import energy throughout the 12 months following the home sale.
  • Pulte closed over 17,000 homes in 2015, making it the largest builder to participate in Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Zero Net Energy Production Builder Demonstration program.
  • The state of California is aiming for complete zero net energy construction in the residential sphere by 2020.

San Francisco is known for its eco-friendly infrastructure, but there’s always room for improvement.

PulteGroup recently completed building a new zero net energy home in San Francisco’s East Bay. The prototype is a sign of support California’s goals for complete zero net energy construction in the residential sphere by 2020.

Located in Brentwood, the green prototype is designed to generate as much energy as it consumes. Pulte will continue to track energy performance, cost savings and impact on the grid for one year after selling.

“Our goal for this prototype is to help define the most efficient path to building more energy efficient homes that effectively balance constructability, cost and quality,” said Ryan Marshall, president of PulteGroup.

Zero net energy home goals

Zero net energy homes push energy back into the grid when there is a surplus, or draw from the grid when there isn’t enough energy production onsite to support the home. Pulte will analyze the export/import energy throughout the 12 months following the home sale.

zero net energy home infographic

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With sealed building methods, low-energy lighting, efficient HVAC and insulation, Pulte says the home’s low energy consumption will be counterbalanced by the home’s solar energy production.

Not only does this home test its green technologies, Pulte’s zero net energy home also shines light on green construction practices and how to make them more cost-efficient in the future.

“Making our homes more energy efficient helps to shrink their carbon footprint and makes them less expensive to own and operate,” Marshall said.

Pulte’s eco initiatives in California

Pulte closed over 17,000 homes in 2015 alone, making it the largest builder to participate in Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Zero Net Energy Production Builder Demonstration program. By targeting California’s goals through building demonstration, Pulte is able to streamline their practices and pave the way for future zero net energy home initiatives.

Building partners supporting the prototype include Lennox for the HVAC equipment, Owners Corning for insulation products, Rinnai for tankless water heaters, SolarCity for the photovoltaic system and Whirlpool for Energy Star appliances.

Pulte will also be seeking consumer feedback to understand improvements that benefit California’s homebuyers.

By Jennifer Riner