net zero

What does net zero energy actually mean? What is a passive house exactly? And do I even need to know this jargon to pick make a responsible commitment to energy efficiency?

Here are a few simple definitions to make you enough of an expert to pick your own lane. And to understand north river’s own choice, made over a decade ago, to only design and build all-electric, zero carbon homes going forward. And to what the heck that even matters or means.

net zero energy homes are so well designed and insulated that they can affordably produce more energy than they use on an annual basis, using renewable resources, free and on site. No fossil fuels, operating carbon footprint, or energy bills.

Passive house is a trademarked design and certification system for guaranteeing that the currently highest, and in our view the most accessible, system for achieving net zero energy has been achieved. Actual passive house certification is optional for our homes, since north river designs only to this level of performance for all of our buildings anyway.

Zero carbon construction does not literally mean zero carbon impact ever. But it can be very, very close, and fully offset with additional solar panels if this form of accounting works for you. In our case, all-electric homes such as we exclusively build use the power of the sun for 100% of their annual energy, is the benchmark for our company.

All-electric buildings are the only kind that north river makes. We have made our full commitment to reduce their cost, and to make this technology as widely available to all as possible, partly by reducing the jargon required to understand it. Electrify!