LifeStyle Homes: WOW! We Win Again!

Posted & filed under Builder's Joy, Buying a Home, Energy Efficiency, Energy Star, Florida Green Building Coalition, Florida Solar Energy Center, Green Building, Green Homes, Photo Voltaic, Saving Energy, SunSmart, SunSmartPV, Water Star.

Melbourne, FL – We interrupt your regularly scheduled Blog to bring you this FLASH BULLETIN.

We have just received word that LifeStyle Homes has won the North American Net Zero Energy Production Home of the Year Award from the Net Zero Energy Home Coalition based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We can’t tell you how wonderful this is and how proud we are to have won this major award.

The Net Zero Energy Home Coalition is a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to accelerate market development of affordable Net Zero Energy Homes. Membership in the Coalition includes major energy efficiency equipment manufacturers, utility companies, academics, architects, engineers, public officials, home builders and land developers. Entries in multiple award categories came from throughout North America, but ours was the only winner to come from outside Canada. How cool is that?

Our entry home was our St. Croix, Net Zero, SunsmartPVSM branded, sales model home which is located in the Tralee Bay Estates neigborhood of the Capron Ridge master planned community right here in Melbourne. We have subsequently learned that our St. Croix SunSmart(PV) home impressed the judges because it was not a one-off exotic design, but rather a conventional-appearing home to which Net Zero Energy technology had been applied, proving that high performance homes do not need to be super-expensive or look strange.

“That’s the whole idea,” said Larry Hufford, founding partner of LifeStyle Homes. “It’s all well and good to plan for the eventual roll-out of production Net Zero Energy Homes sometime in the future, and build alternative architecture, dream homes in the meantime,” Hufford added, “but since we know reliable technology exists today to build these remarkable homes today, we think it’s better to build them today than to talk about building them tomorrow. It’s just great that the award judges understand that actually getting this done is what’s needed to jump start our new clean energy economy, both in the United States and in Canada.”

The St. Croix SunSmart(PV) Net Zero Energy Home is built to surpass the standards of the Builders Challenge program of the U.S. Department of Energy. It uses the free power of the Sun, captured by roof-mounted PhotoVoltaic panels, to generate as much electricity as the home consumes. When the Sun is shining, the St. Croix SunSmartPVSM home generates way more electricity than it needs. The surplus is automatically sold back to the utility company. When the Sun isn’t shining, power is purchased just as normally occurs in conventional homes. The term, Net Zero Energy Home, means that over a year, the cost of power purchased from the utility company will be matched by the income from surplus power sales to the utility company, producing a net zero electric bill.

“We can do the Net Zero thing today,” Hufford continued. “Before long we will be able to generate enough surplus to re-charge two electric automobiles overnight for free. And not too long after that, we will be generating enough surplus to make possible the ultimate home-based business; powering America. Just think about that for a minute. Free electricity for your home, free fill-ups for your electric-powered automobiles, plus a hefty check FROM the power company every month. Pretty sweet.”