90 Primrose Hill Road
Rhinebeck, NY 12572

845.597.7369 | info@verdaellc.com
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Zero Net Energy - Advantages and Disadvantages

Zero Net Energy - Advantages and Disadvantages

Zero Net Energy advantages

  • isolation for building owners from future energy price increases

  • increased comfort due to more-uniform interior temperatures (this can be demonstrated with comparative isotherm maps)

  • reduced requirement for energy austerity

  • reduced total cost of ownership due to improved energy efficiency

  • reduced total net monthly cost of living

  • improved reliability - photovoltaic systems have 25-year warrantees - seldom fail during weather problems - the 1982 photovoltaic systems on the Walt Disney World EPCOT Energy Pavilion are still working fine today, after going through 3 recent hurricanes

  • extra cost is minimized for new construction compared to an afterthought retrofit

  • higher resale value as potential owners demand more Zero Net Energy Buildings than available supply

  • the value of a Zero Net Energy Buildings building relative to similar conventional building should increase every time energy costs increase

  • future legislative restrictions, and carbon emission taxes/penalties may force expensive retrofits to inefficient buildings

Zero Net Energy Potential disadvantages

  • initial costs can be higher - effort required to understand, apply, and qualify for ZEB subsidies

  • very few designers or builders have the necessary skills or experience to build Zero Net Energy Buildings

  • challenge to recover higher initial costs on resale of building - appraisers are uninformed - their models do not consider energy

  • climate-specific design may limit future ability to respond to rising-or-falling ambient temperatures (global warming)

  • without an optimised thermal envelope embodied energy and resource usage is higher than needed


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