ATLANTA — PulteGroup Inc. has announced production of a zero net energy (ZNE) home prototype in northern California, becoming the largest builder to participate in a pilot aimed at building new homes to achieve maximum energy efficiency and utility grid load reduction.

“The Pulte ZNE prototype will help guide and create best practices for the company in building more energy efficient new homes in California and, ultimately, across the nation,” said Ryan Marshall, president of PulteGroup. “Our goal for this prototype is to help define the most efficient path to building zero net energy homes that effectively balance constructability, cost, and quality.”

The Pulte ZNE home prototype tackles California’s long-term zero net energy goals by leveraging advanced design, construction, and on-site renewable energy solutions. The home’s design combines airtight building methods, along with highly efficient HVAC, insulation, lighting technologies, and more, plus on-site solar energy production, to offset the home’s energy consumption. Pulte is participating in Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) Zero Net Energy Production Builder Demonstration program that supports California’s energy efficiency and climate goals for all new residential construction to be zero net energy by 2020.

“California is clearly leading the charge on zero net energy, and we believe this is an opportunity to harness the lessons learned with our building partners so we can offer consumers the ultimate combination of affordability, quality, and energy efficiency in the future,” Marshall said. “We are already developing plans for future zero net prototypes.”

A ZNE home or building is one designed with the goal of producing as much energy as it uses during a year. To cope with fluctuations in demand, ZNE homes are typically connected to the grid, exporting electricity when there is a surplus, and drawing electricity when not enough is being produced. Construction of the prototype in Botanica by Pulte Homes in Brentwood, California, is expected to be complete in May 2016. The energy performance of the home will be monitored for a year after it is sold, and overall energy performance and consumption will be evaluated.

The ZNE project is a collaboration with a number of key partners, including heating and cooling systems provider Lennox, solar power provider SolarCity, and building materials producer Owens Corning. “These companies are committed to offering the most innovative, renewable, and affordable solutions that improve the lives of Pulte homebuyers and the world we live in,” Marshall said.

For a graphic illustrating the features of the Pulte Zero Net Energy Home, click here.

For more information about PulteGroup, visit

Publication date: 3/28/2016

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