There's a new buzzword in the Arizona green building industry: "Net Zero" and "Near Zero" construction. Homes thus labeled are outfitted with energy-efficient materials (tighter insulation, draft-resistant windows and doors) as well as solar features which enable a home to actually produce energy and, thus, consume less (or no) power from the local grid. If you've purchased a net zero or near zero home, lucky you: Keep an eye on utility bills and watch for months when you'll pay either nothing or only nominal amounts.
We at Target Building Inspections perform multiple energy audits with affiliate BPI certification. If you're interested in converting an existing Arizona home to a net zero or near zero set-up, contact your local utility providers such as SRP or APS and ask if they will let your home "give back" to the energy grid you pull from and can track the progress on utility bills. Currently APS is working closely with our affiliate auditor and the word is spreading like forest fire. Once you've established local applicability, research options for using solar, wind, or other forms of natural power to power your property. Condo dwellers interested in net zero or near zero can approach their homeowners association about purchasing such power on a multi-family scale. The US government will extend tax credits through 2016 for up to 30% of the cost, with no upper limit, for purchase and installation of "green" power sources, including geothermal heat pumps, solar panels, solar water heaters, small-scale wind energy systems, and fuel cell-driven energy. For more information about current green energy incentives, check Energy Star www.energystar.gov. Feel free to contact us anytime!
For information about renewable energy incentives in and around Arizona, refer to the Database of State Incentives at www.dsireusa.org.