NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — For more than seven years, Orleans Avenue in Niagara Falls had one home that sat dormant. That home, is now a zero net energy home that was built up for a Habitat for Humanity family.
From move-in day onward, the total energy bills in a ZNE home is expected to be lower than that of a comparable standard home by combining solar energy and the use of natural gas. This ZNE house is a real-world demonstration, or a pilot, for National Fuel to test pathways for consumers to minimize carbon emissions while having a reliable, affordable heat source throughout winters in a cold Northeast climate. . Based on the house’s redesign and retrofitting, it is anticipated that carbon dioxide emissions will be 60% less than in a typical residential home. By reducing the level of greenhouse gas emissions, the ZNE home will have a positive effect on the environment.
The benefits of the ZNE house include:
· Environmentally Friendly
The combination of design, building techniques, and technologies that go into this ZNE home all result in a home that produces reduced carbon emissions. ZNE homes are built using an active solar photovoltaic (PV) system, making use of natural daylight to create electric power, and providing the home with renewable energy from the solar PV panels on the roof.
· Lower Cost Utility Bills
This ZNE home’s yearly total utility bill will be minimal based on the renewable energy produced from the solar panels along with high-efficiency natural gas equipment and high-efficiency building shell. From day one, this ZNE home has the potential to use less energy and have lower energy bills than a similar standard home.
· Cleaner, Fresher Indoor Air
Built with airtight walls, this ZNE home incorporates an advanced energy efficient fresh air system. The advanced ventilation system provides pre-heated or pre-cooled fresh filtered air.
· Get Instant Hot Water
The tankless hot water system in the home will require reduced energy while providing nearly instant hot water on demand, which will provide savings on the natural gas and water bill.
· Year Round Comfort
This ZNE home has a highly energy efficient, quiet, and easy-to-use comfort system for heating and cooling, making the home exceptionally pleasant to live in year round.
· Low Maintenance Home
Due to its durable, airtight construction and fresh air system, this ZNE home will be low maintenance and easy to keep clean. Properly maintained humidity levels reduce the potential for mold or water damage.
· Positive Energy
By generating power for use in the home from the solar panels on the roof, and using less electricity from the electric utility (National Grid), this ZNE home will hopefully generate close to, and possibly even more energy, than what is needed, thus turning it into a net positive energy home.
· Pioneer the Future
This ZNE home renovation leads the way to a better future by demonstrating the use of energy efficient design and construction practices combined with the installation of high efficiency natural gas equipment and a solar panel system.