Net zero energy (NZE) communities are becoming pivotal to the energy vision of developers. Communities that produce as much energy as they consume provide many benefits, such as reducing life-cycle costs and better resilience to grid outages. If deployed using smart-grid technology, NZE communities can act as a grid node and aid in balancing electrical demand. However, identifying cost-effective pathways to NZE requires detailed energy and economic models. Information required to build such models is not typically available at the early master-planning stages, where the largest energy and economic saving opportunities exist. Methodologies that expedite and streamline energy and economic modeling could facilitate early decision making. This paper describes a reproducible methodology that aids modelers in identifying energy and economic savings opportunities in the early community design stages. As additional information becomes available, models can quickly be recreated and evaluated. The proposed methodology is applied to the first-phase design of a NZE community under development in Southwestern Ontario.

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Conference 2015 ASHRAE Winter Conference
Bucking, S, & Cotton, J.S. (James S.). (2015). Methodology for energy and economic modeling of net zero energy communities. In ASHRAE Transactions (pp. 462–470).