Coming on the heels of the launch last month of “Extreme Green” homes that spare homeowners of up to 50 percent on their utility bills, U.S. based homebuilder Meritage Homes has unveiled its “net-zero” homes in Las Vegas that can generate as much energy as the homeowners consume.
According to Meritage Homes, the green homes are said to embrace the energy-efficiency features that come standard in its “Extreme Green” with full solar solution providing renewable electricity, hot water, and solar air conditioning.
Subsequently, Meritage Homes called the green homes “net-zero” since they can produce as much renewable energy as homeowners use.
This new approach to home construction promotes not only energy-efficiency in the sector but also affordability, according to C.R. Herro, the company’s vice president of Environmental Affairs.
“An affordable net-zero home is not the home of the future anymore – the future is now,” Herro said.
The net-zero homes do not only reduce the monthly electric bills of homebuyers, they also open the opportunity for them to avail of the $9,000 federal tax credit, which makes the green homes more affordable.
Bob Beckett, one of the buyer of the net-zero home built by Meritage Homes in Las Vegas, commented: “My goal was to minimize my utility costs and achieve the highest level of energy efficiency possible.”
At present, there are approximately 100 net-zero homes in USA, Meritage Homes noted. But these are either custom-built to match the price or built with the specifications of the homeowners themselves.
The “net-zero” homes are built at the five communities of Meritage Homes in Northern Terrace and Mountain’s Edge.
According to Herro, the green homes have embraced all of the energy-efficient elements necessary to build the first “net-zero” homes.
The net-zero homes were introduced by Meritage Homes during the national “Net-Zero Revolution Home Sweepstakes” on Earth Day, April 22, with one unit in Arizona being offered as a grand prize.
Green features of the homes include 100 percent ENERGY STAR-certified appliances, ECHO 5640 Solar System, energy-efficient HVAC system, air-tight spray-foam insulation, “smart” controllers for landscape irrigation, thermostats, double low-E vinyl windows, dual-flush actuator toilets and low-flow showers and faucets for water conservation, advanced CFL lighting system, and low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) carpets, paints and other eco-friendly finishes.
Meritage Homes partners with NV Energy through its Advanced Building Techniques (ABT) program to promote sustainable and energy-efficient homes in Nevada.