34-home development billed as Wisconsin’s first Net Zero community
New Berlin – Focus on Energy Trade Ally contractor, Tim O’Brien Homes, joined officials from Neumann Companies, SunVest Solar, and the City of New Berlin on Friday morning to cut the ribbon on the new Savannah Model Home at Red Fox Crossing in New Berlin.
It is the first completed house at a development that will eventually feature 34 Net Zero Electricity homes, meaning the solar panels built onto the homes will generate more electricity than they are projected to use.
“We had the conversation about five years ago that, in ten years, we wanted…to be in position where we could build neighborhoods with the level of energy independence similar to this one,” said owner Tim O’Brien. “And we were able to realize that in five years.”
Tim O’Brien Homes will certify all the homes through Focus on Energy’s New Home Certification Program. Through the program, homes are tested by a third party and verified to be more energy-efficient and durable than the average new home in Wisconsin. Each will also be certified by ENERGY STAR® and EPA WaterSense®.
Tim O’Brien Homes started working with Focus on Energy in 2007 and has certified nearly 1,200 homes through the New Home Certification Program. The 2,400-square-foot Savannah home the company built at Red Fox Crossing has a Home Energy Rating Score of 26, meaning it will use 26% of the energy of a similar-sized home built to code.
“The amount of renewable energy and the cost of renewable energy has come down so much since we started our solar company [SunVest Solar] back in 2009,” said Matt Neumann of Neumann Companies, developer of the Red Fox Crossing project. “There’s [been] about an 80% cost reduction. We knew it didn’t make any economic sense then… But we believed there was [going to] be a day when renewable energy was [going to] come down enough in cost that you could start to put this on every single home, and have people be able to offset their utility bills.”
At a brief ceremony before the ribbon-cutting and tours of the home, O’Brien thanked all the groups his company has worked with over the years to find the right combination of systems and materials to make projects like this economically feasible.
“People such as Focus on Energy have provided the opportunity for us to experiment a little bit with different systems, ways to keep it still value-based,” O’Brien said.
About Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities' statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by the state's investor-owned energy utilities and participating municipal and electric cooperative utilities. Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Focus on Energy information, resources and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control Wisconsin's growing demand for electricity and natural gas. For more information call 800.762.7077 or visit focusonenergy.com.
About Tim O’Brien Homes
Founded in 2007, the company strives to build quality, value-driven, energy efficient green homes while providing an extraordinary building experience.