What Makes Up a Zero Energy Ready Home?

couple home efficiency Zero Energy Ready Home

You may have heard the term “Zero Energy Ready Home” before, especially if you are in the process of building or remodeling. People assume it’s an industry term that references a home with a good energy score or utility performance. While that’s mostly true, there is much more that goes into a Zero Ready Energy Home.

What Is A Zero Energy Ready Home?

The Department of Energy defines a Zero Energy Ready Home as, “A high-performance home which is so energy efficient, that a renewable energy system can offset all or most of its annual energy consumption.” Put more simply, it’s a home that has enough renewable energy services and updates that it can sustain itself or replace the energy it uses.

To considered a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home, the structure must follow strict guidelines.  These include HVAC installation and performance, thermal enclosure, water management, efficient use of space, and more.

How Can Homeowners Improve Their Score?

Typically, Zero Energy Ready homes are built with the goal of energy efficiency in mind from the drawing of the very first blueprint. When compared to a regular minimum code home, a Zero-Energy Ready home pays close attention to these 7 must-have systems:

  • Thermal protection
  • Whole house water protection
  • High-performance heating and cooling
  • High-efficiency appliances
  • Comprehensive Indoor air quality
  • Solar-ready construction
  • Enhanced quality assurance

It is very difficult to meet all the requirements needed when renovating a home. That being said, there are plenty of upgrades that a homeowner can accomplish to drastically improve their home’s energy performance.


Even if your home is already built, replacing the insulation to a more energy-efficient and sealing product will reduce airflow from the outdoors and save you big on heating and cooling costs. RetroFoam insulation has a very high R-value; the ability to fill a space and mold around any obstacle.

Energy Efficient Appliances

Many new appliances are rated specifically for higher-performing homes. Energy-Star qualified appliances use less energy to operate and produce less waste. These can include large, everyday appliances like refrigerators and furnaces as well as smaller appliances like dehumidifiers.

Windows and Doors

Much of your home’s energy is release around windows and doors–even when closed. For instance, did you know that windows are made specifically for different climates? Hot climates, cold climates, and mixed climates all have specific doors and windows that perform best.

Water Use

You might read over your water bill when it comes in the mail, but do you pay close attention to how much water is wasted? WaterSense labeled products from the EPA work to save water in your home and yard. Learn more about water-saving products and tips here.


Being connected to the outdoors is great, but not while you’re indoors. Then, it causes inflated utility bills and poor air quality. If you are looking to get a more energy-efficient home, begin with an Energy Audit from RetroGreen Energy. We help you discover how much energy is being wasted in your home and begin a plan to improve your home’s energy use.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I agree to these terms.