Zero-emission technologically sophisticated houses in El Dorado Hills

by Placerville Newswire / May 01, 2016 / comments

Jacob Atalla is vice president of sustainability for KB Home, which is building the technologically sophisticated houses in El Dorado Hills. He said the systems in those structures save about $1,000 annually in utility expenses. But the price tag for those houses runs about $50,000 more than for homes without energy-saving bells and whistles.

EL DORADO HILLS By JULIE CART – Off a tidy cul-de-sac in a master-planned community near Sacramento, you can park in the driveway of the home of the future.

The two-story residence brims with state-of-the-art energy-saving technology: highly efficient solar heating and cooling systems, dense wall insulation, triple-paned windows, smog-gobbling roof tiles and “smart” appliances that spring into action when power demand is lowest.

Power-sipping homes like this will be critical to the state’s recalibrated energy policies. Those policies include a law that requires California’s built environment – tens of millions of structures – to operate twice as efficiently by 2030, slashing consumption of electricity and natural gas to half their projected levels.

The mandate, intended to reduce the state’s need for carbon-spewing power plants, is part of California’s mission to address climate change by cutting greenhouse-gas emissions. Residential and commercial buildings account for about 20 percent of those pollutants.

Exactly how the state’s goal will be achieved is unclear, and agreement on the price tag is elusive. What is certain is that making homes and other buildings use energy more efficiently will add to the upfront cost of a home in a state where home prices are already twice the national average...

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