New development is completely energy positive in downtown Boston

In an attempt to make properties that are not only environmentally friendly but also affordable for lower-income residents, a Boston area home developer is looking to create a series of new residences that will actually produce more energy than they consume.

The idea behind the new development is that, because the homes have no impact on the power grid and actually create energy, residents can maintain the properties at a low cost. As well, each home is estimated to sell for less than $400,000 despite the innovative approach to each home's design.

"It’s really not rocket science," said Kamran Zahedi, ­president of Urbanica Inc., the developer building the first wave of homes as part of the project. "People are now realizing it’s good business to build in this way."

Instead of incorporating expensive technology into the construction of the homes, each property is designed to take advantage of the elements. The homes are configured to not only let natural light within to heat the residences, but they'll also collect natural rainwater to use for drinking and plumbing.

The most significant aspect of the project is the vast array of solar panelling that covers the facade and roof of each home. Because of their orientation on the building, these panels will be the most useful component of the project that contributes to its energy independence.

For homeowners curious about how to make their home less dependent on the energy grid, they should look into having a home inspection contractor conduct an energy audit on their property. This will highlight where waste is occurring in their home and inform them on what steps they can take to lower their utility bills.