All new homes in California to be zero carbon by 2020

All new homes being built in California will have to be zero net energy (ZNE) by 2020, according to a bold new project set by the US state.

The Department of Energy’s (DoE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has launched two projects to help the state meet these targets. The California Energy Commission (CEC) is providing $2 million (£1.56m) in funding for the two projects.

The first project will provide detailed cost and performance modeling of ZNE homes and identify potential barriers to rollout.

Researchers say achieving zero net energy usually involves both reducing demand as well as providing on-site energy generation, often using solar panels.

The second project will study how acceptable indoor air quality can be maintained in ZNE homes that use natural gas.

As these homes become better insulated and more tightly sealed, ventilation becomes a more important issue.

Researchers found hazardous levels of pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter in many homes, generated by cooking food and from gas burners.

HeatingSave Energy & Environmental Monitoring System – the perfect solution for air quality monitoring

The HeatingSave Building Energy Monitor is a wireless management system that collects information from sensors placed in a building. It is unobtrusive and causes minimal disruption during installation. The system collects internal and external temperature data, along with information on how the heating system works and details of energy use. It also monitors the way a building is used in terms of its occupancy and the occupants’ activities and lifestyles.

Using a password protected standard WiFi connection, sensors can quickly be set up to review and quantitatively analyse the data with user-friendly software graphics, via a laptop, PC, mobile phone or tablet-based device.

A cable connection to the building router also enables data to be uploaded to HeatingSave’s cloud storage servers, where it can be analysed by sophisticated software. This provides a clear understanding of the real impact of energy efficiency measures, for example through pre-installation analysis and post-installation monitoring.

Building owners can access their energy usage details online to help them manage energy use more efficiently. This information is presented using a dashboard system that provides consolidated and drill down views of the energy use data.

If you’d like to find out more about the HeatingSave Building Energy Monitor and just how easily it can be deployed within any home, just contact us, and we’ll be more than happy to answer any of your questions and queries.

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