Smart Grid Observer

Central California Leads the State in Zero Net Energy Homebuilding

Source: Smart Grid Observer

September 6, 2018 -- De Young Properties and energy consulting company ConSol jointly announce De Young RidgeView, the largest grid-connected zero net energy (ZNE) single-family community to be developed in California. De Young RidgeView, located in the Central California community of Clovis, will include 58 zero net energy homes designed with the potential to produce as much clean energy as they consume in a year. The development is supported by a grant from the California Energy Commission Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program and administered by the California Homebuilding Foundation (CHF) as a way to demonstrate cost effective construction of ZNE single-family homes.

'We believe California's goals for solar and zero net energy homebuilding are a catalyst for the future of homebuilding nationwide. We are proud to play a role in helping to advance ZNE research and education with the development of RidgeView,' said Brandon De Young, executive vice president of De Young Properties and president of De Young Mortgage. 'These homes are not only better for the environment but also for homeowners, as their innovative design and energy efficiency features will enable homeowners to achieve extremely low energy bills and live more comfortably in their home, while reducing their carbon footprint and promoting better air quality in California.'

RidgeView is the newest and largest ZNE community by De Young Properties with (58) ZNE homes, followed closely by two others located in Clovis: The Highlands by De Young (45) and EnVision (36), which welcomes its first residents this fall.

With sales beginning September 15, the De Young RidgeView community will provide critical energy and market data that will contribute to the continued development of California's policy and modeling software for ZNE building. This data, analysis and reporting will prove essential in assisting California homebuilders to further optimize their ZNE building science and technology ahead of the California Energy Commission's (CEC) goal for all new California homes to be ZNE. This large-scale demonstration project will show regional, statewide and even national builders that zero net energy homes can be constructed affordably and marketed successfully, encouraging others to follow suit.

 'To reach California's ambitious climate and energy goals, we must push past status quo thinking to get the most out of each construction investment,' said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, the Energy Commission's lead on energy efficiency and buildings. 'Research projects like De Young's RidgeView create new possibilities for building affordable, sustainable and comfortable homes in the real world.'

With the support of a team of expert researchers, De Young Properties and ConSol, a Sacramento-based company with broad experience in residential and non-residential efficiency programs, will monitor energy usage and solar production, among other performance attributes of the RidgeView homes. The information will be used to continue improving ZNE home designs.

 'Although California has made tremendous progress toward broader adoption of highly efficient and ZNE homebuilding practices, we're still not all the way there. The best way to reach the State's goal for all new homes to be ZNE is through the deployment of full-scale ZNE subdivisions like RidgeView.  By getting these technologies out of the lab and working harmoniously in the field, we'll finally be able to understand and begin to overcome the remaining barriers to large-scale adoption of ZNE and low-carbon building,' said Garth Torvestad, senior technical consultant at ConSol.

 The research team will assess ZNE building costs and benefits, and evaluate best practices to reduce costs over time. Specific research focuses include the analysis of consumer perceptions; air sealing and ventilation strategy; study of homeowner behavioral variation in energy use; and the assessment of construction materials, equipment, design and technique. A recently completed survey of 500 California home shoppers and recent buyers has already yielded valuable insight into consumer preferences and willingness to spend on ZNE home features. This research will be used to help educate the home buying public and encourage builders to follow in De Young's footsteps.  


ConSol and De Young Properties will work with the California Energy Commission, California Homebuilding Foundation, Energy Solutions, Opinion Dynamics and the University of California, Davis in addition to a broad range of ZNE experts throughout the completion of the full RidgeView community.

To help educate future homebuilding leaders, De Young Properties and ConSol have established a partnership with Fresno State to present an educational ZNE Symposium November 15 for students and faculty of homebuilding industry related disciplines, urban planning executives and regional government. The cutting-edge, energy efficient building process at RidgeView will be filmed to memorialize the process and provide demonstration exhibits that can assist in industry and collegiate curriculum.


Also of Interest from SGO:  5th Annual Demand Response & DER World Forum, October 16-17, 2018,  Costa Mesa, CA   >> visit website