The rays in sunny Southern California are being put to work this holiday season in what KB Home says is one of the first net-zero–energy production homes in the Golden State. The home, part of the builder’s ZeroHouse 2.0 program, was unveiled this week in KB’s Whisler Ridge neighborhood in Lake Forest, Calif.
In order to break free of the grid, the house is stocked with 6.75kW of solar panels, a solar water heater, radiant barrier roofing, dual-pane, low-E argon gas windows, LED lighting, and beefed-up insulation. It also comes fitted with an energy monitoring system, allowing owners to keep tabs on the home’s energy use in real time and track how much solar electricity it is producing via iPhone or tablet.
The home is priced to sell for between "the high $600s to low $700s," according to Craig LeMessurier, KB’s director of corporate communications. That price tag is comparable with the rest of the neighborhood, where prices range from $654,990 to $799,990. (Every home in the community is outfitted with solar panels as a standard feature, although no others in the neighborhood are built to achieve net-zero–energy status.) KB predicts the home will save its owners $274 a month in utility bills, compared to a similar home.
Southern California is the third market in which KB has started offering its ZeroHouse 2.0 program. The builder has already introduced the homes in Florida and Texas, and has plans to expand ZeroHouse to Colorado, Las Vegas, and Northern California next year. Eventually, LeMessurier says, "KB Home will be constructing net-zero homes in all of the markets in which we are currently building."
Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.