Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere


Search is On for Homes Producing More Energy than They Consume

The second annual NHSaves Drive to Net Zero Home Competition is in full swing with homeowners, builders and architects collaborating to build homes that produce more energy on site than they consume.

NHSaves introduced the Drive to Net Zero Home Competition in 2017 as a design and build competition for single and multi-family homes. Seven new home projects across New Hampshire were part of that first competition.

To be considered for the 2018 competition, homes have to be completed along with a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index score by November 30. Prizes are awarded to the top three entries: $5,000 for first place, $2,000 for second and $1,000 for third. Homes are also being entered for the 2019 competition.

NHSaves is a partnership of Eversource, New Hampshire Electric Co-Op, Liberty Utilities and Unitil to provide New Hampshire residents, businesses and municipalities with information, incentives and support designed to save energy, reduce costs and protect the environment.

“This competition is a great way to showcase how net zero energy homes are not just environmentally conscious, but make a lot of economic sense,” says Michael Loughlin, Energy Efficiency Services Program Manager for Eversource.

Net zero homes produce as much energy as they consume by minimizing energy use through efficiency and meeting their remaining needs through renewable energy systems. Homes entered in the Drive to Net Zero Home Competition are also part of the ENERGY STAR® Homes program. Homes earning the ENERGY STAR label use 15-30 percent less energy than typical new homes.

The competition weighs five criteria, including the cost effectiveness of the project, the home’s total estimated energy use and, most notably, a home’s score on the nationally-recognized HERS Index. The RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network) rating standards are used to determine a home’s HERS Index.

“NHSaves partners are working with more and more builders and architects on net zero projects throughout the state,” Loughlin says. “I believe this is a trend that will continue as home owners learn more about the affordability of building this way.”

In honor of October being National Energy Awareness Month, here is a salute to the three winning entries in the inaugural Drive to Net Zero Home Competition. The top three homes were built in Cornish, Webster and Hanover. Other homes entered in the competition are in Weare, Newmarket, Portsmouth and Moultonborough.

2017 First Place: This home in Cornish was designed by Kaplan Thompson Architects of Portland, Maine and built by RH Irving Homebuilders of Salisbury, N.H. New Hampshire Electric Co-Op is the utility partner.

2017 Second Place: This home in Webster was designed by home owners Kevin and Kelly Gale and built by Homes of a Lifetime of Weare. Unitil is the utility partner.

2017 Third Place: This home in Hanover was designed by home owners Jim and Deb Kennedy and built by Vermod Homes of Wilder, Vt. Eversource is the utility partner.

To learn more about NHSaves, the Drive to Net Zero Home Competition and the winning entries, go to:

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