Environment & Science

New Sacramento housing development will be ultra energy efficient

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A developer in Sacramento plans to open housing this fall with a twist - occupants could pay half as much as they’re accustomed to on their energy bills.

The developer’s building 34 houses in the state capital's downtown based on net-zero energy. That means they'll generate as much energy as they use.

Private money is putting solar panels on the rooftops. The homes will include energy-efficient appliances, and they’ll be built to fairly high green building standards.

Each home also will have smart meters – electric meters that provide more information to homeowners and the utility about when and how the place uses power. Beyond all that, large lithium ion batters will be able to store solar-generated energy on site and deliver it to the grid if needed.

Its builders say it's the first fully privately-financed group of homes that cuts energy use this much. Developers plan to price the homes around $300,000.