Energy Efficiency

Published on July 16th, 2014 | by Adam Johnston


Shea Homes, SolarCity Top 2000 SheaXero Homes

July 16th, 2014 by  

SolarCity and Trilogy/Shea Homes celebrated a milestone recently by selling its 2000 SheaXero home in just over two years.

Available in 11 Trilogy communities in five states, these “No Electric Bill Homes” give a real one-two punch in financial and environmental savings.

Home with Solar Panels via Flickr CC

Homeowners can save around $3,000 annually, Shea Trilogy’s notes. Now imagine what you can do with an extra $3,000 in your pocket. You could have more money for retirement. You may want to put that money away  for a rainy day. You may even want to put it to a charity. A trip even. Or if you are feeling lucky, that extra change will get you closer to that Tesla Model S you always wanted.

Meanwhile, the environmental impact is nothing to sneeze at. SolarCity’s press release suggests the 2,000 homes carbon emission level reductions equal 30,000 cars not driven. That’s also the same as saving 14 million trees from being cut.

With Shea Homes’ choice to go solar, it is also reducing water consumption in producing energy. It’s estimated these houses will cut fresh water usage by 1.5 billion gallons over the next twenty years.

In April, 2013, SheaXero homes surpassed the 1000th homes sold bench mark.

Interest in zero energy homes like SheaXero is rising. Consider how a one year trial run by the National Institute of Society and Technology on a net-zero energy home fared:

To put it another way — and perhaps even more impressively — the net-zero system allowed for almost $4400 (average annual bill for a comparable modern home in the region) in saved/avoided energy costs, while also actually earning the virtual family of four residing there a cash credit via the exportation of surplus energy to the local utility.

As solar costs continue to fall, zero energy homes will benefit, reducing further energy costs, while seeing ideas like SheaXero become more affordable for everyone.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

is expected to complete the Professional Development Certificate in Renewable Energy from the University of Toronto by December 2017. Adam recently completed his Social Media Certificate from Algonquin College Continuing & Online Learning. Adam also graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a three-year B.A. combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications in 2011. Adam owns a part-time tax preparation business. He also recently started up Salay Consulting and Social Media services, a part-time business which provides cleantech writing, analysis, and social media services. His eventual goal is to be a cleantech policy analyst. You can follow him on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or check out his business

  • ronwint

    So how much would you save if you bought one of these energy efficient homes without the solar system and instead purchased and installed your own much lower priced solar system and kept the 30% federal tax credit and any available cash rebate?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Some amount of money.

      But some people don’t want to buy and are more comfortable with going a different route, even if it saves them less.

      Regardless of the route, it gets more solar on the grid and that’s the big issue.

      Whether solar leasing companies or solar selling companies (here’s looking at you) make the money is secondary.

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