The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking a common definition for Net-Zero buildings, also referred to as Zero Energy Buildings (ZEBs).

Though many have defined it in their own way, the DOE is looking to produce one standard definition, which will help create boundaries and metrics to serve as a foundation for governments, utilities, or private entities in recognizing or incentivizing zero energy buildings. The definition and guidelines will be used in the design and operation of net-zero buildings.

In particular, the DOE wants input from professionals regarding the following topics:

1. Definitions: Are the Zero Energy Building, Zero Energy Campus, Zero Energy Portfolio, and Zero Energy Community definitions reasonable and appropriate when applied to their respective scopes? Should the broad characterizations of zero energy be changed in any way between building, campus, portfolio and community?

2. Nomenclature: Are the definitions provided in the nomenclature section of the draft clear and complete? Please provide specific feedback about these definitions.

3. Are there any recommendations regarding the topics addressed in the section "Additional considerations under review"?

4. Are there any specific recommendations for a uniform approach to tracking renewable energy generation for the purpose or “zero energy” claims to avoid double-counting?

5. Are there any other recommendations that would help clarify and improve the definitions, nomenclature, and guidelines?

Comments and suggestions can be submitted to the DOE until Feb. 20, 2015 for consideration via mail, email, or a form on its website.