New York State Promotes High-Performance Houses
Builders are eligible for an incentive grant of $8,000 for each net-zero energy house they build
Builders in New York State are now eligible for incentive grants of as much as $8,000 for building net-zero energyProducing as much energy on an annual basis as one consumes on site, usually with renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics or small-scale wind turbines. houses, according to an announcement by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
There are three tiers of cash awards, ranging from $2,000 to $8,000 per building, depending on how well the building performs and how much energy it can potentially save. For example, Tier 1 payouts of $2,000 are for houses that meet requirements of Energy StarLabeling system sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy for labeling the most energy-efficient products on the market; applies to a wide range of products, from computers and office equipment to refrigerators and air conditioners. version 3.0, while Tier 3 houses must have certain HERSIndex or scoring system for energy efficiency established by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) that compares a given home to a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Reference Home based on the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code. A home matching the reference home has a HERS Index of 100. The lower a home’s HERS Index, the more energy efficient it is. A typical existing home has a HERS Index of 130; a net zero energy home has a HERS Index of 0. Older versions of the HERS index were based on a scale that was largely just the opposite in structure--a HERS rating of 100 represented a net zero energy home, while the reference home had a score of 80. There are issues that complicate converting old to new or new to old scores, but the basic formula is: New HERS index = (100 - Old HERS score) * 5. ratings, depending on size of the building, and be able to hit net-zero energy performance.
Builders must meet a number of other requirements as well. There are maximum air-leakage requirements, for example, and a long list of specs for heating and cooling equipment.
Incentives are for low-rise buildings, up to three stories tall, said project manager Patrick Fitzgerald. Both new construction and gut-rehabs qualify, but commercial project such as nursing homes do not.
Fitzgerald said 25,000 homes have qualified for payouts since the program was launched about a dozen years ago. The net-zero tier is new this year.
Money to support the program is collected from ratepayers by six investor-owned utilities.
Jun 10, 2014 11:07 AM ET
Jul 11, 2014 1:21 PM ET