Net zero energy is a performance target that describes buildings that produce as much energy as they use over a calendar year. Flywheel Development’s goal is to build all of our projects to meet this standard. For our Perry Street Townhome project this goal will mean homeowners will effectively eliminate electric and gas bills – although in practice our local electric utility charges a fee to homeowners to remain connected to the grid. As with other grid-tied homes, during the day, when solar PV on each roof produces a surplus of power, energy is sold back to the grid to be used by neighbors, while at night the homes draw power from the power grid like conventional homes.
Achieving net zero energy performance is challenging, and requires a commitment to building construction techniques that are far beyond code requirements. Flywheel has found that the best way to achieve net zero energy performance is by using the Passive House building standard, which allows us to reduce home energy use by 80% compared to traditional construction. The remaining energy needs to achieve net zero energy performance is met with onsite renewable energy in the form of solar PV.