Despite all of the interest in zero energy buildings, there’s no hard-and-fast rule defining what zero energy actually means. To standardize the process and further incentivize energy reduction efforts, the DOE has funded the National Institute of Buildings Sciences to accept public comment and draft potential definitions for zero energy buildings.
While the basic concept – using no more energy than can be produced onsite – seems simple, in practice it can become more complicated. Various industry groups also disagreeing on how building performance should be measured and what “zero” energy really means. The department says that having a broadly accepted market definition of zero energy buildings is crucial to efforts by governments, utilities, and private organizations to recognize and incentivize the implementation of zero energy facilities. All interested parties are welcome to submit comments to be considered before the final report is published later in 2015.
You can submit a comment for the DOE’s consideration here through February 20.