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NHSaves Honors HERS Rated ‘Net Zero’ Home Winners

Oct 10, 2019

Homebuilder Unity Homes of Walpole knows what it takes to build green. As the first homebuilder to receive certification for a Zero Energy Ready Home in New Hampshire, that experience and know-how is on display at the Newbury residence of Janet Taft. 

“We were doing our best to become net zero and then we started searching for a builder who had the same values that we had,” Taft says of her home project that started in 2017. “We were lucky to find Unity.” The 3,570-foot home was named the winner of the second annual NHSaves Drive to Net Zero Competition.

NHSaves introduced the Drive to Net Zero Home Competition in 2017 as a design and build competition for single and multi-family homes. Prizes are awarded to the top three entries: $5,000 for first place, $2,000 for second and $1,000 for third.

The Drive to Net Zero Competition weighs five criteria, including the cost-effectiveness of the project, the home’s total estimated energy use and, most notably, a home’s score on the nationally-recognized Home Energy Rating System Index, or HERS. All three homes were rated by HERS Rating Company GDS Associates Inc. The winning home has a HERS Index Score of -18.

HERS Rater Joe Rando said, “GDS Associates is pleased to have provided HERS rating and ENERGY STAR® certification services for this high-performance home, leveraging the benefits of state-level supported energy efficiency programs, to showcase the benefits of building beyond code requirements. The continued partnership with the region’s utility providers and building industry has positioned GDS to assist in the pivotal market transformation that continues to bring recognition to the benefits of building comfortable, durable, healthy and efficient homes. The NHSaves Drive to Net Zero Competition is just another example of the dedication to highlighting the benefits of improving our built environment.”

The team of Taft and Unity was one of three from New Hampshire honored July 18 by NHSaves for embodying the best in energy-efficient homebuilding practices. The winners were recognized during a ceremony at Eversource Energy Park in Manchester.

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