Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Nation's First Affordable "Net Zero Energy" Homes to be Built in Florida

Where's the worm hole?
     This morning I entered what appeared to be an alternate universe.
     City of Dunedin and Pinellas County officials stood side by side with business leaders and environmentalists. (It happens sometimes -- nothing abnormal there.) Then they all picked up shovels and broke ground for construction of the nation's first affordable, "net zero energy" homes.
     "What??"  I pinched myself.  "Did this just happen in Florida?"

     Homes will range in price from $135,000 for an 1100 square-feet, two bedroom unit, to $170,000 for a 1,500 square-feet, 3 bedroom townhouse. Add a zero electric bill and you have a home that's affordable for most people.
     The project's developer, Planet Green Group, says that the features of its Dunedin townhouses are usually found in homes costing $300,000 or more.  91 people have placed reservations for the 25 units.

Net zero energy
    Homes will have LED lighting, foam insulation, specially-designed duct work, energy efficient appliances, electric vehicle charging stations, whole house water filtering, hybrid heat pump water heaters, household energy management systems, and rooftop solar panels.
     General Electric, Eco Construction, Inc., Algatec Solar, Mesh Architecture and Farias Marketing Group are major strategic partners providing features, design and marketing for the project.