Decoding Energy Efficiency Lingo!

With so much science involved in making homes energy efficient, the average person is usually at a loss when it comes to understanding green terminology. Here, the National Association of Homebuilders decodes some of the most commonly used lingo. 

  • An “Energy-Efficient”home is a home that uses less energy than a traditional home without compromising service to owners and occupants. Energy efficiency can be achieved through things such as improved thermal envelopes, solar-oriented construction, low-e windows and efficient appliances.
  • “Net Zero-Energy” home is a home in which energy production and consumption are equivalent. That means the energy produced by the home must meet the household’s needs. Rooftop solar panels are perhaps the most common way for homes to produce energy.
  • “Net Zero-Energy-Ready”home is a home that is outfitted with the necessary structural and technological support to install energy-producing technologies. Net zero-energy-ready homes are appropriate for homeowners who plan to install energy-producing technology in the future.
  • “Net Positive-Energy”home is a home that produces more energy than the household needs. A homeowner could even receive credit from their utility company for excess energy returned to the grid that is produced by the energy technologies and saved by energy-efficiency measures.

Knowing these terms can help you update your existing home to be more energy efficient, or be more knowledgeable if you’re in the market for a new home.



Christine Cleek


Broker, Owner

Rising Star Real Estate




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