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Energy Solutions Center Inc.

400 N. Capitol St., NW 4th Floor
Washington, DC 20001

Voice 202-824-7152
Fax 202-824-7096
E-mail dweiss@escenter.org

 

Zero Net Energy Workgroup

The Zero Net Energy Workgroup (ZNE) to help ESC members stay abreast of regulatory, business, and technological issues.  This workgroup will address the move to drastically reduce energy consumption and will provide valuable information to natural gas utilities as they contemplate how best to operate in a low carbon environment.

The general definition of ZNE is fairly simple; a ZNE home or building uses less energy than it produces over the course of a year. These homes/buildings achieve ZNE through tightly constructed buildings, high-efficiency equipment and/or appliances, smart controls, and occupant behavior.    A ZNE building may utilize any of the following elements:

  • Improved sizing and design

  • Optimization of passive solar, day lighting, and natural ventilation to limit mechanical heating and cooling

  • Integration of high efficiency lighting and HVAC systems that can respond directly to occupant loads

  • Reduction and/or optimization of internal loads

  • Improving the thermal characteristics of the building envelope

 

This workgroup will focus on an array of natural gas solutions to minimize energy usage, while meeting consumer preference for natural gas.  The workgroup will also examine technologies such as mCHP that could turn the home or business into a net energy producer.

Participation in this workgroup is free and available to all ESC members, and will not be time consuming or burdensome.  The ZNE Workgroup will meet at 2 of our annual Technology and Market Assessment Forums and undertake a few conference calls a year as appropriate.  As an information exchange vehicle, the workgroup will strive to provide the following to ESC members:

  • A forum where utility staff can exchange information and viewpoints on local or regional trends encouraging ZNE homes and businesses

  • Materials and resources that contribute to the definition and application of the ZNE concept

  • Information in identifying the role of natural gas in an ZNE environment, and on gas equipment that may provide solutions within the realm of the ZNE environment

  • Opportunities to hear from other organizations (government, advocacy, non-profit, R&D) about their perspectives and strategies on ZNE homes and businesses

  • Information on how national and regional codes and standards play a role in ZNE policy

  • Information on how the use of natural gas and deployment of natural gas equipment will be impacted by adoption of ZNE goals and strategies

  • Discussion on home/building natural gas solutions that help meet ZNE

  • Comparisons of US vs Canadian approaches to ZNE

  • Strategies to help LDCs answer customer questions about the impact of ZNE policies

Contact Eric Burgis at 610-796-1946 or eburgis@escenter.org to join this workgroup.