Is This the Future of Homes in Utah?

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) - Creating as much energy as you use, that's the goal of a net-zero home. Some Utah homeowners have achieved it, but never before has a home builder set out to build it, until now. On Tuesday a ribbon cutting was held for Utah's first net-zero community, Living Zenith.

Mitchell Spence of Redfish Builders had a vision. At the groundbreaking last September he said, "I got tired of being the problem."  The problem, Utah's air pollution, and part of that is how Spence used to build homes. "The waste that happens, and the type of homes that are built per code, are not efficient homes," said Spence.

Spence and his wife Tiffany Ivins, the owners of Redfish Builders and the founders of Living Zenith, want energy efficient homes to become the new standard.

According to Envision Utah they need to be. Today our homes and business account for 39% of our air pollution, but by 2050 as cars get cleaner and more homes and business are built that number is expected to jump to 66%. Envision Utah's COO Ari Bruening said, "We cannot clean our air and keep our air clean long term unless we start building all of our buildings more efficiently so that we're using less energy."

The Governor's Office of Energy Development agrees. Governor's Energy Advisor Dr. Laura Nelson said, "This is really about innovating the way that we use energy; being more energy efficient in how we deploy and use resources is going to go far in meeting the needs of a growing population."

The Living Zenith home, at 1172 South 400 East, is the first of five to be built. With its foam foundation and insulation, triple-painted windows, LED lights, solar panels and all electric appliances - including the heating and cooling system - these homes are 97% more energy efficient than the average home on the market.

If you're interested in Living Zenith, the first net zero home goes on the market today.

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