Energy Analysis

Teams have to discuss the approaches your design process considered to energy efficiency for all aspects of the home and how the various efficiency features interact. They need to discuss the constraints and challenges to efficiency improvements in any one feature relative to, for example, climate, occupancy, or building use.

Teams have to perform and document the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rating whole-house annual energy consumption simulations, including the final plan-based HERS Index Score determined without renewable energy system supply and the projected annual energy consumption to meet the maximum DOE Zero Energy Ready Home HERS Index Score. They have to include the house size factor adjustment calculations as required for homes exceeding the square feet specified in the Size Adjustment Factor table. If renewable energy systems (that produce electrical energy) are included, they should perform a second HERS Index analysis to include the energy supply from the renewable energy system.

Teams will also have to discuss the opportunities, tradeoffs, and house design modifications needed to incorporate renewable energy systems sufficient to achieve a zero net energy use from all nonrenewable energy sources. They should describe technology options that are appropriate for the location and climate, considering the neighborhood community as a potential for average reductions of nonrenewable energy use applied to the individual homes. If the available resource or the particular design of the home within its location context precludes the use of renewable energy systems, they need to document this design consideration.

Based on the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program requirements, teams need to provide details of the EPA Renewable Energy Ready Home guidelines for solar water heating and solar photovoltaic systems. They have to demonstrate design details that comply with Renewable Energy Ready Home checklists for solar electric and solar thermal systems.

Teams also have to provide a design and component analysis for active renewable energy systems to achieve a zero net energy use across all nonrenewable energy sources used in the home. They need to document energy production and cost estimates, including maintenance requirements and performance lifetime expectations. 


DOE Zero Energy Ready Home National Program Requirements (Rev. 04):

DOE Guidelines for Participating in the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home:

ENERGY STAR Renewable Energy Ready Homes (RERH):

Florida Solar Energy Center Zero Energy Homes:

PVWatts A Performance Calculator for Grid-Connected PV Systems:


Architectural Energy Corporation REM/Rate:

EnergyGauge Energy and Economic Analysis Software: