Zero energy homes community see bills reduced

1 December 2004 – Residents of Sacremento’s first zero energy homes community have seen their electricity bills fall to between $30 and $0 a month, GE has announced at Power-Gen International 2004.

GE Energy’s solar electric power systems are being installed in 95 Premier Homes Zero Energy Homes (ZEH) in Premier Gardens, Sacremento, Ca. Through the use of renewable energy systems, the US Department of Energy’s ZEH initiative is on target to meet its aim of reducing the amount of energy consumed by single-family homes.

Jon Bertolino, Superintendent of Renewable Generation Assets at Sacremento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) said: “Initial bills show charges ranging from $30 a month to zero to credits when excess electricity was sold back to SMUD.”

The $1.5m contract with GE Energy for the provision of its roof integrated solar systems is part of the ZEH project that the US Department of Energy expects will provide savings of up to 60 per cent on energy costs.

Installation began in the third quarter of 2004 and completion is expected by the second quarter of 2005. Premier Gardens’ total solar power output is expected to be 300 MWh annually.