ZERO ENERGY LIVING The Best Way to Advocate


No matter what kind of home or apartment you live in – standard, near-zero or zero, – there are simple, low cost, steps you can take to significantly reduce your energy use on the path to zero net energy use. Then you can share the steps you have taken with friends, co-workers, and family and become a genuine advocate.

If you live in a certified zero energy home and your energy use is average, you will probably have zero net energy expenditure. If your energy consumption is below average, it may become a positive energy home. Or if you typically use more energy than average, it may no longer be a zero energy home. If your energy expenditure is above average, a few small changes in habits and strategies can ensure that your home remains a zero energy home in practice.

Those same changes may even help move your home towards positive energy production, allowing you to save energy for other uses or “sell” energy back to the grid. If you live in a standard home or apartment, these changes will put you on the path to zero. These simple steps do not require any large sacrifice, extra time or effort. In fact, living sustainably will enhance your life.

Simple, Sustainable Zero Energy Living Strategies

that will help ensure you use less energy no matter what kind of home you live in:

  1. Unplug all electronics when not using them, so that phantom loads are eliminated. Smart strip surge protectors are readily available at local hardware or home improvement stores and can make this an inexpensive and easy change.

  2. Purchase energy efficient electronics to help reduce plug loads and use them wisely.

  3. Turn off the lights when you aren’t in the room, even if they are CFLs or LEDs.

  4. Put your home in vacation mode when leaving for more than a couple of days. Unplug electronics and flip the breaker on your water heater. Heat pump water heaters come equipped with a vacation setting that allows you to bring the water back up to temperature before your return.

  5. Replace all light bulbs in your home with LED bulbs. To reduce the upfront expense, do this gradually as older bulbs burn out. Not only are LEDs more energy efficient, they last years longer than other bulbs.