Inventory of Zero Energy Residence Skyrockets 59% in North America

(Image courtesy of TEAM ZERO.)

The market for residential zero energy buildings continues to show growth across the United States and Canada, according to the new Zero Energy Residential Buildings Study recently released by TEAM ZERO, until recently known as the Net Zero Energy Coalition. The report documents 22,146 units that are either in design, construction, or operation representing a 59% increase over the prior year inventory. These include single-family and multifamily projects that are working to achieve zero energy or zero energy-ready performance. In addition, there are another 31,000 additional residential units in the planning stages that are not included in the current count.

A zero energy, or net zero energy building, produces as much renewable energy as it consumes over a year. It typically has low energy demand and is powered by solar panels either onsite or nearby. Zero energy-ready homes have energy efficiency performance, which with the addition of renewable energy sources would bring them to full zero energy levels. This study, now in its fourth year, works to answer questions about the viability of zero energy homes in different markets, climates, and political jurisdictions. TEAM ZERO is a coalition of organizations, manufacturers and others working to grow the market share of zero energy and zero energy-ready homes and commercial buildings.

Recently, Grand View Research Inc. forecasted $78.8 billion of growth in the global zero energy building market by 2025. Homebuilders and developers pursuing zero energy projects are taking the lead in what they see as a profitable future.

The company is one of the major builders of zero energy homes with 23 projects totaling 1,159 units.

Other findings of the study include:

  • Larger multifamily buildings are increasingly dominating the zero energy housing stock.
  • More projects are seeking zero energy performance with integrated renewables: The report shows a 7.2% increase in the percent of projects pursuing zero energy over zero energy-ready (73.8% and 21.7% in 2017, now 66.6% and 29%, respectively).
  • California is leading in number of projects (6,828) with New York in second place (3,022). The Southwest is a stronghold with California, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas claiming a total of nearly 9,600 units.
  • In Canada, there was a 240% increase in the number of zero energy units over 2017. A city or region’s dominance is often driven by a single project—for example, West 5 Phase 2, in London, drove Ontario to third largest state/province, with 1,900 of Ontario’s total 2,221 units.
  • Multifamily projects now represent 71% of the total zero energy residential stock. Although multifamily zero energy has shown steady gains over single-family since the first inventory in 2015, this is a substantial increase over 2017 (60%). In Canada, multifamily is even more dominant than in the United States, with 90% of its zero energy units in multifamily projects, versus 67% in the United States.
  • Future trends to watch that were spotlighted in TEAM ZERO’s findings include: community micro-grids, electrification, grid integration and harmonization, and zero carbon.


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