Building a Zero Energy home means no electric bill

11:58 PM, Jun 28, 2010   |    comments
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Palm Harbor, Florida - The hotter it gets outside, the more it costs to stay cool inside, but there's a new movement sweeping the country and it's spreading to the Tampa Bay area. The concept is to build Zero Energy homes. It's a way to stop paying electric bills altogether.

Alfonso Castaneira is the Senior Executive Producer of Zero Energy America. He says, "48 percent of all pollution, of all greenhouse gases in the world, comes from homes and only 12 percent come from our cars."

His company is trying to educate the public about ways to change that. He's spent seven years researching how to do it.

Friday was the groundbreaking ceremony for the first official Zero Energy home in the Bay area, which is located at 2712 Deer Track Way in Palm Harbor.  Zero Energy America partnered with luxury home builder Marc Rutenberg. When the home is finished, it will look similar to the builder's other homes in Hawks Landing in Palm Harbor.

Castaneira researched all the latest green building supplies and found many were superior to what's currently being used. From the roof to the flooring, every component in a Zero Energy Home must be green and energy efficient.

Castaneira says, "There's so much energy out there from the sun, from the wind, from hydrogen."

Instead of gas for cooking, electromagnetic induction is used. Castaneira points to a gas stove in a model house and says, "It uses much less energy than this and no fossil fuels."

The faucets use 50 percent less water. The water is heated by solar technology. The refrigerator uses as much electricity as a 100 watt bulb. Castaneira says, "Your electric is free, provided by the sun, and by the way that the house was built."

The goal is to make Zero Energy homes more mainstream, so that anyone who's interested in living green can afford to buy one, but Zero Energy homes do cost about 18 percent more.

Castaneira says, over the long run, it's a much better investment. "So, by the time you consider the fact that you don't have an electric bill--that there are federal incentives--I call it the perfect storm. This is the right time because now it's affordable."

The goal is to encourage all builders to construct Zero Energy homes even if they've never done it before. Consumers and builders can learn how by contacting Zero Energy America.

Click here for more information.

Tammie Fields, 10 Connects

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