DOE Releases Common Definition of Zero Energy Buildings, Campuses, and Communities

The U.S. Department of Energy reached a significant milestone by releasing a common definition for a zero energy building, also known as "net zero energy" or "zero net energy."

After leading an extensive stakeholder engagement process over the past year and a half, the Energy Department released its findings in the recently published A Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings, which states that a Zero Energy Building is “an energy-efficient building where, on a source energy basis, the actual annual delivered energy is less than or equal to the on-site renewable exported energy.” This definition also applies to campuses, portfolios, and communities. In addition to providing clarity across the industry, this new DOE publication provides important guidelines for measurement and implementation, specifically explaining how to utilize this definition for building projects.

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