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Watch Twelve Essential Steps to Net Zero Energy

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Zero Energy Building Certification (USA)

The Zero Energy Building Certification is offered after a project submits 12 consecutive months of net-zero-energy performance data. The program is administered by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) and New Buildings Institute (NBI). NBI has been verifying energy data from net-zero-energy projects for years and is the auditor. ILFI handles the certification process itself. 

Zero energy buildings combine energy efficiency and renewable energy generation to consume only as much energy as can be produced onsite through renewable resources over a specified time period. Zero Energy Building is defined by the US Department of Energy as: An energy-efficient building where, on a source energy basis, the actual annual delivered energy is less than or equal to the on-site renewable exported energy.

A zero energy building (ZEB) produces enough renewable energy to meet its own annual energy consumption requirements, thereby reducing the use of non-renewable energy in the building sector. ZEBs use all cost-effective measures to reduce energy usage through energy ef ciency and include renewable energy systems that produce enough energy to meet remaining energy needs. Advantages of ZEBs include lower environmental impacts, lower operating and maintenance costs, better resiliency to power outages and natural disasters, and improved energy security. Reducing building energy consumption in new building construction or renovation can be accomplished through various means, including integrated design, energy ef ciency retrofits, reduced plug loads and energy conservation programs. Reduced energy consumption makes it simpler and less expensive to meet the building’s energy needs with renewable sources of energy.