“Zero net energy” buildings use as much energy as they produce onsite, and have gained a considerable amount of popularity in recent years from their purported environmental and economic benefits. But, simple kWh netting across 24 hours does not address the true impact and value of production and consumption offsetting. NRECA and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) commissioned The Brattle Group to examine the real benefits of ZNE homes with onsite solar compared to the benefits of powering energy efficient homes with a community solar installation. This advisory explains the research and its conclusion that community solar can be the most efficient way to integrate renewable energy on a larger scale and add value to the ZNE debate.

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