Zero Net Energy 101

“Net zero” is used to describe a system (such as a building or even an entire community) that consumes as much of a resource as it generates. This concept extends to different types of resources, including energy, water, and carbon. Setting goals to achieve net zero resource use can help local, state, and federal governments transform what has traditionally been a linear process of resource generation and loss into a closed-loop cycle that results in net zero impact and more efficient, sustainable, and resilient communities.

While there are holistic opportunities for an overall net zero impact, such as the Living Building Challenge and Living Community Challenge from the International Living Futures Institute, the focus of this hub is specifically on net zero or zero net energy (ZNE) buildings and how local governments can expand their role in this growing domain.

Key Introductory Resources