Zero Net Energy

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Zero Net Energy Commercial Buildings Initiative Goal: Generate as much energy within a commercial building as it consumes by 2025.

This initiative was enacted via The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Its aim is directed at commercial buildings and is a very ambitious goal. Achieving Zero Net Energy Buildings would be accomplished by dramatically reducing commercial building energy demand and meeting remaining energy needs from renewable resources.

  • This initiative is under the leadership of the Department of Energy, and represents a collaboration of six institutions:
  • Alliance to Save Energy
  • American Institute of Architects
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • US Green Building Council
  • World Business Council for Sustainable Development

The consortium brings together building industry leaders, technical experts, energy efficiency advocates and other stakeholders to cooperate closely with the DOE, who is leading the group. Funding for the project was appropriated by Congress for the first phase of this 20+ year program.

The activities will include research and development, demonstrations of new building practices, training for professionals, advanced code development, defining patterns of energy use, best practices, and identifying the changes required for transitioning to higher performance buildings.

In just its first year, several Blue Chip companies, including WalMart, Target, Home Depot and Petco, are already applying technologies developed by this alliance and are developing showcase stores leading toward zero-energy performance.


Established by the DOE, the National Laboratory Collaborative on Building Technologies will accelerate innovation and market adoption of high performance buildings. DOE will be using the resources of their national laboratories including Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.