ZNEB: Residential

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Paul Eldrenkamp, chairman of the residential task force, introduced the recommendations saying that some people in the room will be challenged by them, and some will be threatened by the. They represent "a dramatic shift, and it's not going to be easy and it's not going to be comfortable."

Some of the recommendations: Amend the residential building code with a maximum HERS (Home Energy Rating System) rating of 70, with a "stretch" code of 50. HERS is a predictor of energy usage, and 100 represents a standard home today.

Develop a state version of the HERS system, to account for local variation.

Require that HERS be measured when a home is sold, or to qualify for subsidies.

Measure annual energy use in all residential buildings. Eldrenkamp said we need to model homes, and then we need to measure them. The former assesses what the building is capable of; the latter assesses what's happening, once occupants are living there.

Launch a deep energy retrofit pilot demonstration program, to allow us to know how to do them well, and how to bring down their cost. "Right now, it's hard to do them at market rates," Eldrenkamp said.

Develop a zero-net-energy performance monitoring protocol for residences. 

Aid the adoption of model zoning provision that address regulatory barriers to zero net energy.

Expand the current home energy weatherization rebate program to promote super-insulating retrofits, to take advantage of rehabbing opportunities, such as when siding is replaced.

The last two recommendations have to do with financing: working to allow mortgages to accommodate retrofit projects without payments going up, and having a retrofit revolving fund or perhaps bonds to help finance the work.

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