By 2020, all new homes in California must be “zero-net,” meaning they must create their own energy.
In an effort to make the technology more accessible to the public, UC Davis students, faculty and staff are building their own as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Solar Decathlon.”
The school’s zero-net home includes solar panels and a rain-catching water system on the roof. It’s a 1,000 square-foot double-wide mobile home built with a farm worker in mind.
The cost of this particular home will be around $150,000, but the average zero-net single-family home, builders estimate, will be much more expensive. Researchers hope their work at UC Davis will make the technology more affordable.