This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 23, 2003

Tucson Celebrates Earth Day by Opening a Zero-Energy Home

A new home in Tucson, Arizona, that produces as much energy and it uses was introduced to the public on Earth Day, April 22nd. Designed by architect Devereaux and Associates and built by John Wesley Miller Companies, the so-called "Zero-Energy Home" combines energy efficiency with solar energy technologies that will meet all its energy needs over the course of a year. The uses of solar energy include solid masonry construction for thermal mass, a 4-kilowatt solar power system, and an integrated solar hot water and space heating system, which uses tankless water heaters as a backup energy source. But the home is by no means Spartan: it also includes a high-efficiency central air conditioning system. According to the NAHB Research Center, the energy performance of the building will be monitored of one year. DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory provided partial funding for the project. See the NAHB Research Center's "Virtual Press Kit."

DOE is supporting the construction of a number of zero-energy buildings throughout the country. In late March, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) approved the use of a DOE grant to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority for the design and construction of six zero-energy homes in Atlantic City. DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) awarded a grant of $75,613 for the project. See the NJBPU press release.