October 20, 2023
What is Denver’s Net Zero Program, and How Will it Affect Me?
With climate change at the forefront of global discourse, more cities, including Denver, are taking significant strides towards a sustainable future. As a homeowner in Denver, you might be wondering, “How will the city’s Net-Zero Energy (NZE) initiatives impact me?”
As your local home services experts, we want to be a resource during these changes. The various initiatives and programs can be confusing, but our goal remains the same: to make your home as comfortable and efficient as possible while complying with all local codes and ordinances.
What is Net Zero Energy?
Net zero energy means that a building, over a year, produces as much energy as it consumes. It may be powered by both on-site and off-site renewable energy sources. Imagine a home where solar panels harness enough energy to power every appliance inside. Such structures not only reduce the carbon footprint but also pave the way for a greener, more resilient Denver.
The benefits of Net Zero include:
- Lower utility costs
- Healthier air
- Green jobs
- Stronger economy
- Makes the city more attractive and competitive
- Increases energy security
What Does Denver’s Net Zero Plan Entail?
The main strategy of Denver’s plan is to switch from a dependence on natural gas to a reliance on electricity for the city’s power needs. There are several reasons for this:
- Gas prices are more volatile
- Gas creates more emissions
- Electricity can be produced via renewable means
- Electricity is cleaner and safer
Denver’s NZE plan focuses on new housing and commercial building construction as the primary areas for change. By 2050, 40% of Denver’s buildings will be considered “new construction” (buildings that have been built since 2020). This construction boom creates a unique opportunity to cut carbon emissions and reduce energy through updated building codes.
How Does This Plan Affect Existing Homes and Buildings?
While Denver’s NZE vision is focused on new construction, the city is promoting ways that current homes can become more efficient as well. Various programs encourage homeowners to upgrade their homes with energy-efficient appliances, electric vehicle charging stations and solar power. With these programs, homeowners will help Denver achieve its climate action goals while heating and cooling their homes more efficiently.
How Can I Make My Home More Efficient?
Moving toward a net zero home can make your home more efficient and improve indoor and outdoor air quality. Here are a few ways you can upgrade:
- Add an EV charging station. With more Denver drivers switching to electric vehicles, a home charging station makes charging your car fast and easy.
- Switch to a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters save money by only heating water as you need it. Don’t pay for a tank of hot water.
- Install a heat pump. Electric heat pumps are 200-300% more efficient. They put out two to three times more heat than the electricity they use.
- Trade your gas stove for electric. Electric stoves are safer, more efficient and reduce the risk of asthma in children by 40%.
Your Denver Home Experts
When it comes to keeping your home up-to-date and comfortable, no one delivers more than Applewood. Call us for all of your heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical needs. From fast repairs to reliable installations, our licensed pros do it all.