How Can You Enter?
NHSaves’ utility partners introduced the Drive to Net Zero Home Competition in 2017 as a design-and-build competition for single- and multi-family homes. A number of prizes have been handed out over the years to homeowners across New Hampshire who have built homes that embrace the best in green building.
Net zero homes produce as much energy as they consume by minimizing energy use through efficiency and meeting their remaining needs through renewable energy systems. Homes entering the Drive to Net Zero Home Competition are participants of the ENERGY STAR® Homes program. Homes earning the ENERGY STAR label use 15–30 percent less energy than typical new homes.
Prizes are awarded to the top three entries:
- 1st place — $5,000
- 2nd place — $3,000
- 3rd place — $1,000
Why Net Zero?
Net zero homes produce as much energy as they consume by minimizing energy use through efficiency and meeting their remaining needs through renewable energy systems. These best practices are helping Granite Staters drastically reduce their energy bills – possibly to zero.
Among the many features of a net zero project are thicker and more air-tight walls, fresh filtered air and advanced window technologies that result in homes that not only save energy and money, but are more comfortable and durable.
Awards & Benefits
- 1st Place: $5,000
- 2nd Place: $2,000
- 3rd Place: $1,000
Qualifications & Requirements
- The competition weighs five criteria: 1. Lowest overall HERS Index (technical); 2. Lowest HERS index prior to renewables technologies (technical); 3. Most affordable project, cost per square foot (technical and will be treated confidentially); 4. The home’s estimated total annual net operating cost using REM/Rate (technical); 5. Technological innovation (judged).
- All homes entered in the competition must participate in the NH Utilities NHSaves ENERGY STAR Homes program. Projects are also eligible for Home Energy Rating services and NH ENERGY STAR Homes incentives.
- The home must earn the ENERGY STAR Label.
- Homes must be completed and in move-in condition.
- Homes will be inspected and tested by one of the NH Utilities certified HERS raters during construction and at the completion of home.
- All renewables must be installed and operational at final inspection to be considered for scoring.
- The home must be built in the service territory of one of the participating utilities (e.g., Eversource, Liberty, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, Unitil).
- Builders may be eligible for additional promotional activities including advertising, media events, website profiling, publications and a final awards ceremony.
- Throughout the process, each builder agrees to occasional inspections, will need to take photos to support the renewable energy and/or technologies involved (especially those that will be inaccessible at completion), and monitoring and evaluations in order to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations of the challenge.