Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge Under Way

Follow this series on the opportunities and pitfalls of zero-energy home building

By: Jennifer Goodman

September 28, 2016

States like California, New York, and Florida are well-known for their energy efficiency and conservation policies and programs, and have served as national models since the 1970s. However, since the early 2000s, Connecticut has consistently ranked in the top ten nationally for its energy efficiency policies and programs. One initiative gaining attention and helping to further the nationwide zero energy movement is the Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge.

Established in 2010, the Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge is a statewide design and build competition for new residential construction for both single and multi-family homes. The Challenge is part of the state’s Energize Connecticut initiative and managed by electric utilities Eversource and United Illuminating, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc.

Since the Challenge’s inception, 51 homes constructed by 38 different builders and homeowners have taken part and many of their homes have received zero energy designation and become case studies for the U.S. Department of Energy. Now entering its seventh year, the Challenge continues to demonstrate that building super high efficiency (near zero energy) homes are affordable and achievable, while also representing the technologies and techniques it takes to get there.

Over the next four months, this series will follow Heinrich/Waystone Farm Residence through the construction process to meet the Zero Energy Challenge’s home completion deadline of Jan. 31, 2017. Follow along to learn more about the inspiration for the home, the challenges the builder faced in the design and build process, and zero energy building trends and technologies.