This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
Habitat for Humanity Builds Zero-Net-Energy Prototype Homes
DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) announced in mid-June that it is working with Habitat for Humanity to build 20 energy-efficient houses in nearby Lenoir City, Tennessee. The majority of the new homes will be prototypes of zero net energy homes - homes that produce as much energy as they use. A house now under construction, for instance, will include structural insulated panels, a raised metal-seamed roof, a biomass-fired microturbine, a 2-kilowatt solar electric system, and a hydronic heating system. Four of the energy efficient houses have already been built. See the ORNL press release.
The project is being developed as part of DOE's Building America program, which is aiming to develop zero net energy homes of all types by 2010. Building America is part of DOE's new "Building Technologies Program," one of the 11 main programs within DOE's reorganized Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.