DNV GL’s Zero Net Energy Tool (ZNET) helps developers and investors verify future energy code compliance before breaking ground

Energy Value Chain

California has set an ambitious target that new residential buildings will be zero net energy (ZNE) by 2020. Projects that are being planned now will very likely have construction phases that occur after this mandate, yet very few project developers are preparing for zero net energy. Developers and project investors need to ensure their projects can meet future code requirements.

DNV GL’s Zero Net Energy Tool helps residential developers identify whether or not their project will meet zero net energy requirements, and recommends measures that will help improve the project’s energy efficiency performance. The potential energy budgets of new homes and communities are well-established in the entitlement process when lot lines are drawn, design guidelines are developed, and environmental compliance is obtained.


The most cost- and time-effective approach is to address the ZNE performance mandates early in the planning stages, rather than further down the road when changes will cause delays and increase costs.  Early pilots of the ZNE Tool have delivered successful outcome reports when compared to more comprehensive zero net energy analyses of the same development. 


DNV GL’s Zero Net Energy Tool (ZNET) takes into account the variability of residential energy use by identifying the key features that can measurably affect energy use. ZNET combines demographic data and end-user energy behavior with the site and building inputs to calculate the anticipated energy consumption for homes, blocks phases, and whole communities. Our analysis provides insight into the sustainable initiatives of each project, and recommends the most cost-effective energy conservation methods to improve the project’s efficiency performance and meet ZNE goals.


These results show that ZNET is a less expensive approach that developers can utilize, reducing the upfront cash that is needed during a lengthy development process. ZNET will provide developers the information needed to make changes early on, minimizing cost and schedule disruptions, and allowing the project to be zero net energy ready before breaking ground. Early zero net energy compliance can also increase the desirability and value of new construction projects by offering future residents the assurance that their home will achieve their economic and sustainability goals.


To learn more about the ZNE Tool for new residential construction, or to schedule an in-person or webinar ZNET demonstration, contact Tara Jankowski at tara.jankowski@dnvgl.com.

Zero Net Energy Tool

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