Validating Savings Claims of Cold Climate Zero Energy Ready Homes

Stacey Rothgeb, J. Williamson, S. Puttagunta, Stacey Rothgeb (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


The Department of Energy's (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program, formerly DOE Challenge Home, has resulted in over 14,000 energy efficient homes since its start in 2008. Each ZERH is verified by a third party energy rater, achieves at least 40% savings over a code-built home, and typically scores a HERS Index of 55 or less. In addition to energy savings, ZERHs are designed to provide certified software used to generate a HERS Index) and BEopt v2.3 E+ (a more sophisticated hourly energy simulation software) for three ZERHs in the Northeast. This report details the validation methods used to analyze consumption at each of these homes. It includes a detailed end-use examination of consumptions from the following categories: 1) Heating, 2) Cooling, 3) Lights, Appliances, and Miscellaneous Electric Loads (LAMELS) along with Domestic Hot Water Use, 4) Ventilation, and 5) PV generation. A utility bill disaggregation method, which allows a crude estimation of space conditioning loads based on outdoor air temperature, was also performed and the results compared to the actual measured data.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages35
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB), Norwalk, Connecticut

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-64258

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102015-4676


  • actual consumption
  • BEopt building energy optimization software
  • certifications
  • consortium for advanced residential bu
  • DOE
  • energy modeling
  • estimated consumption
  • Lights, Appliances, and Miscellaneous Electricity Loads (LAMELs)
  • measured consumption
  • predicted savings
  • REM/Rate
  • Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
  • SWA
  • utility bill disaggregation
  • validation
  • ZERH
  • zero energy ready home


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