Propane plus Solar: A Zero Net Energy Solution?
April 17, 2020
If you live in a conventional home here in North Carolina (as most of us do), you pay a utility bill to keep the lights and heat on, with your home doing little (if anything) to contribute to your energy bottom line. But there is a certain type of home that is actually designed to produce energy as well as use it; if the design of the house is done well enough, the two will actually offset each other.
When the amount of energy produced by a home matches the amount of energy used by the home, it is called a ZNE – a Zero Net Energy home.
Want to learn more about ZNEs in North Carolina? Here are five important questions and answers to get you started. If you have more, please contact us today.
Your Zero Net Energy Questions Answered
- What makes a ZNE better than a conventional or “green” home? A ZNE home is not just a “green home” or a home with solar panels. A ZNE combines advanced design and superior building systems with energy efficiency and on-site solar panels to produce a better home. Zero energy homes are comfortable, healthy, quiet, sustainable homes that are affordable to live in.
- Are there limits to the size or configuration of ZNEs? No! ZNEs can be built in an almost limitless range of styles and sizes to match any need, lifestyle, or climate.
- Are ZNEs safe / healthy? ZNEs are about the healthiest types of building around. Because zero energy homes are built to a higher standard, you’ll breathe the cleanest air, feel the most comfortable temperatures, and enjoy the quietest indoor environment. You will sleep well knowing that you and your family live in a healthy, comfortable home, free from allergens and toxins.
- Are ZNEs affordable? The total cost of living in a zero energy home is lower than that of a comparable standard home. A zero energy home will protect you from a rapid rise in energy prices. Ten years from now, you’ll pay the same price you pay today to keep your lights on and your family warm. That price will be zero or next to zero.
- What role can propane gas play in a ZNE? Many zero net energy (ZNE) homes rely on solar photovoltaic panels as a source of renewable power. But it’s usually not practical to rely on solar alone to generate the power needed for space and water heating; usually, a secondary source of energy is needed to provide power for energy intensive systems such as space heating and water heating. Propane gas provides the perfect low carbon, low impact energy source for ZNE homes, allowing an effective energy mix that works well even when the sun isn’t shining. In fact, the ENERGY STAR Program recognizes the unbeatable efficiency of high-performance propane systems for ZNEs. ENERGY STAR calculates the propane to energy consumer delivery rate at an almost 1:1 ratio, with one unit of propane delivering one unit of energy; contrast that with electricity, which achieves a consumer delivery rate of almost 3:1 (three units of electricity deliver one unit of electricity for consumer use).
Considering construction of a ZNE in North Carolina? We can help. With expertise in solar panel installation and propane appliance installation in NC, Cherry Energy can help make your ZNE dream a reality. Contact us today to learn more.
Please note: At Cherry Energy, your safety and comfort are always our priority. Please see our COVID-19 Service Update Page to learn more about how we are working to keep your family and our crews safe and your propane deliveries coming when you need them.