WSW: Can "Net-Zero" Homes Make Power Outages Obsolete?

Jul 19, 2018

Matt Grocoff's vintage 1901 "net-zero" home in Ann Arbor
Credit Courtesy Matt Grocoff

Matt Grocoff says today’s children may grow up in a world without power outages. The founder of the Ann Arbor based Thrive Collaborative says that’s part of the promise of “net-zero” buildings.


Grocoff was the keynote speaker at Western Michigan University’s Reaching for Zero conference in June. He told WMUK’s Andy Robins that he has made his house over 100 years old “net-zero,” which means that it generates as much energy as it uses. He says it can done fairly easily and inexpensively.

In addition to homes, Grocoff says the idea of “net zero” can also apply to buildings. He says it is more challenging with very tall buildings. But Grocoff says some of those buildings are being built with solar panels on their sides.

“Net-Zero” homes are an important part of the future, according to Grocoff. He says that homes which rely on renewable sources of energy, and built to ensure that they conserve that energy, will help reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Grocoff says that will become more important in the face of climate change.