Last month, a newly built "Zero Home" in Utah made national headlines for being the country's first residence with power that was generated onsite through completely renewable sources. The project was a great achievement for energy efficiency in America as a whole and looks to inspire similar properties across the country. The ripple effects seem to be happening sooner rather than later, as Washington, D.C., can now claim to have its own net-zero energy house, recently constructed in the Petworth neighborhood.
The Washington Post reports local home builder Tanya Topolewski recently finished development of a net-zero Petworth rowhouse, effectively rebuilding the 90-year-old property from scratch in order to improve efficiency. The highlight of the construction is the installation of new solar panels on the building's roof, which will generate all of the home's power and make the owner's electricity bills a thing of the past.
In addition to the bragging rights that this case affords the developer, it also marks the first time that an old home in Washington D.C. was remodeled into a net-zero building.
"There are very few net-zero gut rehab projects," Courtney Baker, residential operations manager for the U.S. Green Buildings Council, told the source. "It's a lot easier to build a new home to be more energy-efficient than to fill all the leaks in an old D.C. rowhouse."
Of course, D.C. homeowners don't need to go to such drastic lengths in order to have to their own energy efficient homes. If you live in the area, consider scheduling an appointment with DC home inspectors that can help assess your house's energy needs and what measures can be taken to both improve efficiency and reduce utility expenses.