Net Zero – the only economical choice

Bill Maclay on August 30, 2014

We are alive at a unique and remarkable time – this moment in history marks one of the most major changes in
human civilization.  Today, fossil fuels no longer make economic sense.  We have reached the tipping point where using renewable energy costs less than using fossil fuel energy.  This cost consideration even excludes the externalities and negative monetary effects of climate change and environmental issues from using fossil fuels.  Yet this is still a secret for most people, and there is an opportunity to make the shift now.

Five reasons why net zero buildings are affordable today:

1)      Renewable Energy Costs:

Renewable energy is less expensive (and less volatile) than fossil fuel energy.  With Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), we can be using renewable energy with NO capital outlay and with energy prices equal to or less than fossil fuel and nuclear energy.

2)      Energy Conservation Costs:

We can build very high performing buildings that we call net-zero-ready for $5-$10 per square foot additional cost

3)      Advanced Heat Pump Technology:

New air-source heat pump (ASHP) technology provides reduced operating costs compared to fossil fuels, including cheap natural gas.  While capital costs are more for ASHP systems, leasing programs offer options to reduce the initial capital requirements.

4)      Low Interest Rates:

Envelope efficiency, heat pumps, and even renewable energy systems, can offer higher than 10% return on investment, particularly given the current low interest rates and the rising costs of fossil fuel energy.

5)      Lowest Operating Costs:

The bottom line is reduced cash outflow when combining cumulative energy and financing costs of net-zero-ready buildings over code-compliant buildings.   Simply put, it saves you money!!


Post written Bill Maclay on August 30, 2014 in Behavior change,Buildings & Environment,Change communications,Economy,Energy efficiency

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