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Lakeland Near Zero Energy Home
Lakeland, FL

photo of rear view of Lakeland HouseThis home in Lakeland, FL, was constructed as part of an experiment done by the Florida Solar Energy Center in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building America program.

Two homes, a control and a variable, were built with the same orientation to the sun, same floor plan, and same square-footage, but one home was built to standard code, while the other – the Near Zero Energy Home (ZEH) – incorporated a number of energy-efficiency features. The objective of this experiment was to compare the energy usage and savings between a single-family residence built to standard construction codes and a home engineered to reduce energy use to an absolute minimum.

Researchers found that over a period of one year, the ZEH’s energy consumption levels were 70 percent less than the standard home’s. After factoring in the ZEH’s four kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system, the home's energy consumption level dropped to 92 perscent less than its standard-code counterpart.

Some of the energy-efficiency features on the ZEH that led to this massive difference in energy consumption between the two homes are:Aerial photo with two houses highlighted.

  • 2-kW solar water heater
  • 4-kW utility-interactive PV system
  • White-tile roof with 3-foot overhangs
  • R-30 attic insulation
  • R-10 exterior insulation over concrete block system
  • Advanced solar-control double-glazed windows
  • Oversized, interior-mounted ducts
  • High-efficiency refrigerator
  • High-efficiency compact fluorescent lighting
  • Programmable thermostat
  • Downsized SEER 15.0, variable speed, 2-ton air conditioner with field-verified cooling-coil air flow.

Download the case study. [Adobe Acrobat icon 202K]