California Standard Toward Net Zero Energy Influence States Across the Country
A California-based property management group urged attendees at the 26th Annual International Networking Roundtable to pay special attention to the energy performance of homes they build and homes they place in MH communities.
Maria Horton is director of marketing for Newport Pacific, of Irvine, Calif.
“We have to have extremely energy efficient homes,” she said in a late Thursday seminar at The Alexander hotel in Indianapolis.
California regulations on energy efficiency are tightening, and Horton contends that her state is the beginning of a wave that will work its way across the country.
One of the key phrases driving the trend is “Net Zero Energy”, which means a home or community is able to produce as much energy through solar and wind as is consumed. The other catch phrase that works hand-in-hand with the net zero notion is “intentional communities’, meaning residents of a community work together to create lifestyle and services efficiency from electric vehicle charging stations to cooperative gardens.
“No one solution is going to make all the difference,” Horton advised. “It’s a mix of solutions that will get your where you want to be.”
How to Get to Net Zero Energy
Among the building blocks toward accomplishing net zero energy is the use of mineral wool insulation in the walls, EnergyStar appliances, radiant barrier roof sheathing and double-pane windows. All of these solutions help to keep cool air in and warm out during the summer. The opposite occurs in the cold months, with elements maintaining warm air and keeping out the cold.
“The insulation is so important and impacts everything else in the house,” Horton said. “It’s really amazing how will this mineral wool keeps the heat in.”
Newport Pacific has been working with manufactured home communities and tiny house villages in Southern California. The goal is to gain the net zero balance, and the movement is gaining attention.
The new beachside tiny home village in San Luis Obispo is the former Village Mobile Home Park, a distressed property that is being redeveloped for student and worker housing.
“We have officials in cities outside of California calling us to ask our help,” Horton said. “It’s very exciting. It’s so important to us to make a difference for people.”
Newport Pacific has worked with Cavco to gain energy efficiency in homes that will go to its customers, and the manufacturer’s customer base has embraced more and more of these solutions over time, leading with the EnergyStar appliances.
“Our clients are really beginning to ask for that now,” said Steve Quick, vice president of business development for Cavco. “We don’t really need to push this. It’s almost become self-directed.”