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The Christian Science Monitor has a nice introduction to “hybrid houses.” With rising energy bills shocking residents across the US, it's time to go hybrid with homes. Rising energy costs...

Guy Brighton
  • 12 january 2006

The Christian Science Monitor has a nice introduction to “hybrid houses.” With rising energy bills shocking residents across the US, it’s time to "go hybrid" with homes. Rising energy costs across the US are driving buyers towards “zero-energy homes” (ZEH). Like a hybrid car, ZEHs use unobtrusive technologies like solar panels to reduce or eliminate net energy consumption.

These improvements are expensive, costing upwards of $25,000 to implement, but can pay for themselves over time. However, to encourage adoption, homeowners can receive federal tax credits for home energy improvements.

Hundreds of ZEHs have been built in California and the Southwest, and thousands are planned for the next couple years. Demand is increasing as technology costs and economies of scale bring the initial expense in line with the perceived benefit.

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