Designing for net zero

Solar installation on home

Energy Trust of Oregon recently launched a new incentive under the EPS™ New Construction offering: net zero. The net zero offering allows builders to stack incentives to earn more on each home. Builders can earn a $750 bonus incentive when they install solar PV systems to offset 100% of the expected electric use.

To qualify for the net zero incentive, homes must meet four core requirements:

Receive electric service from Pacific Power or Portland General Electric
Host an EDA, including the builder, verifier and solar contractor
Qualify as an EPS home, at least 20% above baseline
Include solar installed to offset 100% of electric load

Designing for net zero has numerous considerations that can impact a home’s expected heating and cooling load, including geographical location. These geographical considerations help to determine the appropriate solar PV system size. For example, homes in Western Oregon tend to have a higher heating load compared to homes in Eastern Oregon. Higher energy loads in homes often require larger solar PV systems. Plan ahead with a required Early Design Assistance meeting with your verifier and solar contractor to work through how to best size your home’s solar PV system based on its expected energy load.

As with all EPS homes, net zero homes require special consideration of siting orientation and roof design, space heating and ventilation, framing and wall designs, insulation, air sealing, and windows and doors. Each building design element plays into how efficient a home is and how to size the solar PV system to offset 100% of the home’s expected electric consumption.

Net zero is within your reach:

  • Learn how to design for net zero with a free live webinar provided by Energy Trust on Tuesday, May 26 from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Register today.
  • Energy Trust wants to know about any of your projects that could be a good fit for the net zero offering. Contact us at 1.877.283.0698 or email us to discuss your project and learn how to participate.