California’s count of emerging ZNE commercial buildings up by 23%, residential inventory increases by 104%

California now has 189 commercial buildings documented as either zero net energy (ZNE) verified (21) or ZNE emerging (168), as reported in the new 2017 California ZNE Watchlist. Most notably, the emerging ZNE project list increased 23% since last year suggesting the verified listings will grow substantially in 2018 as these projects are completed and occupied.  In addition, a report from the Net Zero Energy Coalition, released last summer and titled “To Zero and Beyond: 2016,” found that California saw a 104% increase in one year with 3,137 documented units of ZNE and ZNE-ready projects.

Watchlist Map

Private development keeps pace with public buildings
The large increase of new emerging commercial ZNE projects also indicates that more owners are pursuing ZNE buildings in anticipation of the statewide energy goals for the sector. While public buildings have typically led slightly in the count, this latest analysis shows that there is now a balanced number of projects between public and private ownership. The new count keeps California in the lead nationally in terms of number of projects. The Watchlist tracks commercial buildings, including multifamily, based on information gathered from multiple sources such as design firms, owners, utility programs, case studies, etc.

See the 2017 California Watchlist:

New Buildings Institute collects and tracks commercial and multifamily projects for the Watchlist and a national ZNE buildings list for both the verified and emerging categories. Projects can be submitted for consideration at:

Homebuilders respond to burgeoning market for ZNE
ZNE projects in the United States and Canada grew 33% over the previous year, according to a new report by the Net Zero Energy Coalition titled “To Zero and Beyond: 2016.” A total of 8,203 single family and multifamily units were counted in 2016, up from the 6,177 in 2015. California led the way with a 104% increase representing 3,137 documented units. Massachusetts came in second with 499 ZNE units.


“A combination of policy and grassroots efforts is driving the push towards zero energy housing,” said Shilpa Sankaran, executive director of the Net Zero Energy Coalition. “This was the first time we were able to compare year-over-year growth, and we were surprised by how much the market has expanded and momentum has increased in just one year. It’s encouraging to see that the market leaders and local governments are moving in the right direction,” she said.

ZNE-ready homes, which are not fully powered with renewable energy, still dominate in the number of total units, but the data indicates ZNE projects are gaining ground on demand. In 2015, 85% of all units were ZNE-ready. That segment represented only 70% of the total inventory for 2016.

To submit a ZNE residential project information and contribute to the 2017 inventory report, visit:

Read the full residential inventory report here:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s