What is a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home™?

A view from the living room looking into a kitchen with stainless-steel, energy-efficient appliances and sage green cabinets and island.

Learn more about how the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home™ program is evolving manufactured homes and how it makes sustainable living more accessible.

Energy efficiency continues to be top of mind for today’s home buyers who want to save time and money with more sustainable features and technology. Interest is also growing in Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Homes™, which are certified by the DOE to be more efficient. We’re breaking down what this means, what features these homes include and what it means for Clayton.

What is a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home?

Imagine a home “so energy efficient that a renewable energy system could offset most or all the home's annual energy use.”* This home is also built to reduce energy consumption and help homeowners save on their utilities in the long term. And paired with a renewable energy system like solar panels, a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home could reduce 100% of the house’s energy use.** The DOE has established certification requirements to qualify this type of home as a Zero Energy Ready Home, building on requirements from EnergyStar® and the Environment Protection Agency’s indoor airPLUS to create a house with more energy-efficient features and improved indoor air quality.

The DOE Zero Energy Ready Home label means the home has upgraded energy-efficient features, including high-performance comfort systems, enhanced air quality and solar-ready construction to make it easy to install solar panels later. “Solar-ready” means a home already has the needed conduit and built-in room on the electrical panel if a homeowner chooses to add solar power components in the future.

What does this mean for homeowners?

The Pros of a Zero Energy Home with TM

For a manufactured home to be DOE Zero Energy Ready Home certified, it must first be built in a certified facility. This certification means the home includes many high-performing, energy-efficient features built in, which can help homeowners save money. Clayton’s DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes will be equipped with enhanced energy-efficient features like:

  • Low-E windows
  • All LED lighting
  • An ecobee® smart thermostat
  • A Rheem® hybrid heat pump water heater
  • ENERGY STAR® certified appliances
  • Additional insulation.

According to the DOE, studies have found Zero Energy Ready Home single-family homes can be up to 50% more efficient than typical new homes. They could also lead to $150B in utility savings nationwide. *** And when new homes come ready for a renewable energy system, like solar panels, sustainability becomes an attainable choice for more homeowners. Not only does it reduce a household’s impact on the environment, it also gives homeowners a higher level of comfort and quality of life.

Solar Panels Edit 54TEM28563AH22 The Pulse 2023 Apr

What steps is Clayton taking?

Increasing our sustainable building practices and working to make housing more attainable continue to be priorities for Clayton. That’s why, along with our current sustainability efforts in areas like material recycling and energy use reduction, Clayton plans to have 39 of our home building facilities nationwide certified and building DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes by the end of 2023.

At Clayton, we believe in driving change for the good of our communities. With this latest step, we hope to make sustainable, affordable housing more widely available for more people. To learn more about how we are committed to building a better tomorrow for you, you can visit our Sustainability page.

* ZERH Logo Use Guidelines (energy.gov)

** A Symbol of Excellence brochure (energy.gov)

*** Microsoft Word - ZERH one-page description 6-22-20 (energy.gov)

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