Net-zero buildings provide dozens of benefits, including a reduced environmental impact and lowered monthly energy bills. However, it’s more effective in specific climates, states, and cities worldwide. If you’ve considered building a net-zero home or business place, then you’ll enjoy what’s in store.
Net-zero buildings would be useful everywhere, but they’re most efficient in mild-climates with plenty of sunshine such as Arizona, California, Nevada, Florida, and places with lots of sunlight. Sunshine, airflow, and warm temperatures are excellent indicators of a prime location.
Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following info about where net-zero buildings would be useful:
- The best climates and environments for net-zero buildings
- Whether or not it’s an ideal choice for every situation
- Top states for net-zero or renewable energy living
- How to spot the perfect place for net-zero buildings
The Best Climates for Net-Zero Buildings
If you’re searching for the perfect place for your net-zero home or business place, then you’ll be happy with the results. Almost every city, state, and country throughout the world encourages some form of net-zero living. Renewable energy is becoming increasingly popular since it’s becoming cheaper than non-renewable and reduces your carbon footprint.
Here’s a list of four ways to know if a place is ideal for net-zero buildings:
- Try to find a place with plenty of sunshine. Solar power could likely be your leading energy source. However, keep in mind, as we discussed in our post “Do Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days?“, that you can also reap the benefits of solar energy even during cloudy days. In addition to solar power, sunshine will help with heating your home passively and reducing the amount of artificial light required.
- Wind helps, but it’s not entirely necessary. According to the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG), wind energy provides usable electricity for local homes. Many of them push energy into the power grid, which provides low-cost electricity to surrounding homes. Living in a semi-windy climate will boost the results.
- A large wood supply can provide burning fuel. If you live in the woods, then you know how often you use it. You could use wood to heat your home, cook food, burn trash instead of calling a gas-guzzling trash truck, and more. An ample wood supply can be beneficial for net-zero buildings and their inhabitants. Please bear in mind, though, that out of all renewable sources, wood is the least preferred because of the risk it poses to deforestation.
- Running water or rainwater can be purified with reduced emissions. Positioning your home or business building near a river, lake, or stream will provide clean drinking and washing water. Another common approach is to install water tanks that collect rainwater. You can install purifiers to drink water, create a natural pond, or create hydropower sources. Note: Don’t drink water near cities; it’s typically filled with off-running chemicals.
As you can see, there are plenty of features to look for when you’re choosing a place for your net-zero building projects. Wind, sunshine, running water, and wood make the list an easy way to research. If you’re curious about potentially building net-zero structures elsewhere, read on.
Is Net-Zero Designing Always Useful?
What if you don’t live in the perfect environment with year-round sunshine and sparkling water flowing nearby? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Most cities, states, and countries don’t have everything you need for net-zero living, but you can make it work almost anywhere. As long as you follow the necessary building and living requirements, you can enjoy a net-zero home.
So, what should you look for to make it useful and efficient wherever you build?
Choose Plenty of Solar Panels
If you don’t live in a sun-filled location, consider getting more panels and a bigger battery bank. You can absorb energy faster and store it for a longer time than traditional solar setups. Many sources show that solar energy can be sufficient for several days without a drop of sunshine. It depends on the battery bank, so don’t pass it up!
Consider Geothermal Possibilities
While people can use geothermal heating almost anywhere, true geothermal energy requires a magma supply. It’s found far below the earth, but if you can use it, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of a seemingly endless energy supply. Geothermal energy can compete with solar power since it doesn’t depend on the sun’s cycles.
Position the House Correctly
Most people forget to consider the home’s position. A significant part of a net-zero building is coordinating the structure with the sunshine. Which direction does the sun rise and set? It would help if you designed the home to get solar energy from the start to the end of the day. Also, wind flow from cross ventilation can be optimized by following wind patterns.
Net-zero buildings are great anywhere you can build them, but if you’re open to suggestions, proceed to the next section.
Which States Are Good for Net-Zero Living?
There’s no secret that net-zero living is on the rise. People want to save money and protect the endangered environment. Climate change is causing severe problems worldwide, but we can all make an impact via net-zero living. If you want to reap the previously mentioned financial benefits, preview the following suggestions.
- California, Hawaii, New York, Massachusetts, and many other states have pledged net-zero economies within the next few decades. USGBC states that these places are committing to a green deal that will level out their carbon emission before 2060 (many of them want to get it done much sooner).
- You could benefit from renewable solar energy credits. EnergySage proves that some states, including Delaware, Illinois, and the District of Columbia, offer SRECs, a solar credit for using renewable energy. These credits give you a decent amount of money, rewarding you for living a net-zero lifestyle.
- Some energy providers cut costs. California is a leading state in renewable energy tax incentives and monthly bill reductions. If you’re considering moving to the Golden State, you’ll be happy to know that net-zero living will boast significant financial benefits.
- Look for states that match the previously mentioned climates. You should preferably find a place that’s filled with sunshine, swimming with running water, and surrounded by wood and wind. California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and many other states fill this description.
- Research states where the resale value is higher for net-zero buildings. For those who are thinking about reselling their home in a few years, you’ll be delighted that you might get a payment boost. Many people prefer net-zero living but don’t know where to start. If you have a net-zero home, they don’t have to stress over the building and certification process.
Although these states offer the best net-zero benefits, there’s no reason to avoid your favorite city. As long as you can find land and a certification company, you’re good to go. Natural amenities are far more important than financial benefits. However, it’s always wise to call city offices to ask about net-zero buildings beforehand.
Now that you’ve read all of the tips, locations, and suggestions, you’re ready to decide where you want to start your net-zero building. Whether you’re chasing the tax incentives or want the best energy replenishment via solar panels and geothermal energy, you’re well-informed.
Here’s a rundown of what this post should’ve taught you:
- Sunshine, running water, and mild climates offer excellent net-zero living circumstances.
- Net-zero homes are useful and beneficial almost anywhere worldwide.
- California, Hawaii, and many other states have pledged net-zero production.
- Some energy companies provide reduced payments, which could be a deciding factor.