Published on February 6th, 2012 | by Charis Michelsen5
Net-Zero-Energy Home Unveiled in Las Vegas
A number of energy-efficient homes and communities are currently in the process of being tested, but a Los Angeles-based company is going one small step farther. KB Home presented its first net-zero-energy home in an event in Las Vegas, and it’s not just experimental. The home, called the ZeroHouse 2.0, is available to consumers (in certain areas, including Vegas).
ZeroHouse 2.0 is the natural extension of KB Home’s standard building practices, which all comply with the EPA Energy Star Standards. The company claims that the ZeroHouse 2.0 can eliminate the electric bill altogether; in the ridiculously hot weather of Nevada, that’s quite a feat.
This continues a strong trend for the national home builder, which has been rolling out solar-powered and net-zero homes across the country in recent months (including in Southern California and Florida).
Everything Is Interconnected
Even energy-efficient homes are difficult to keep cool with the sun beating down mercilessly and unceasingly. Rob McGibney, executive VP of KB Home’s Vegas division, explains KB Home’s vision with the ZeroHouse 2.0 and how it helps lighten the load on the grid:
“When the temperature hits triple digits here in Las Vegas, as it often can, many homeowners see their monthly bills reach well into the triple digits too. That’s why KB Home has focused on building energy-efficient homes and why our homebuyers can now select a ZeroHouse 2.0 that is estimated to lower their energy utility costs to nearly zero. This home represents the latest evolution of our Built to Order experience that puts the homebuyer in greater control of their monthly electricity costs, while letting them personalize a new home that suits their lifestyle, budget and taste.”
To be a little more specific, KB Home redesigned the entire concept of the house—there’s more insulation, better HVAC systems, dual-pane windows, and finally a roof covered in solar panels. The display home at the event in Vegas also showed off an energy monitoring system (good for figuring out where you’re using the most electricity) and even automated home controls.
Green as the New Normal?
The Vegas event also played host to a number of students from a nearby elementary school. The kids were encouraged to explore the ZeroHouse 2.0 and participate in a quiz-show type game. In thanks for participation (and the chance to plant the idea of energy efficiency into the malleable minds of the nation’s youth), KB Home presented the school principal with a $2,400 check—the amount of money that a ZeroHouse 2.0 owner would not be paying to the electric company.
Clark County Commissioner, Susan Brager, the co-host of the event, walked away with no regrets—either about the home itself or about the company creating it. She commented:
“After touring KB Home’s new ZeroHouse model, I was impressed by not only all the incredible new technology in place, but by how comfortable the home feels and how great it looks. The Clark County board and I are honored that KB Home chose our master planned community of Mountain’s Edge to showcase this net-zero energy option along with its already incredibly efficient and affordable new homes.”
Questions? Opinions? Let us know in the comments, below.