Atmos Energy, local Habitat chapter partnering to build first ‘Zero Net Energy’ home in Kentucky

June 15, 2022 | 12:07 am

Updated June 14, 2022 | 9:52 pm

Habitat Zero Net Energy home

The local Habitat for Humanity chapter and Atmos Energy are partnering to build a natural gas-powered Zero Net Energy (ZNE) home in Owensboro, meaning it is designed to produce as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year. Officials say it will be the first ZNE house in Kentucky, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday.

The project incorporates building envelope efficiency, passive and active solar technology, and the latest in energy-efficient natural gas appliances and lighting to make the home self-sufficient. 

Jamie Sowders is the future owner of the three-bedroom home. Jeremy Stephens, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Owensboro-Daviess County, said Sowders was the “perfect candidate” to receive the home. 

“Jamie is a wonderful, hard-working mother who is raising her three children,” Stephens said. “She has been renting for many years and considers this home to be a dream come true.” 

When the Habitat chapter interviewed Sowders for the project, she said one of her main concerns was her ability to afford monthly utility bills. 

“Building an affordable home with affordable utility bills is our ultimate goal,” said Stephens, who added that preliminary energy modeling was done through a partnership with Jagoe Homes. “The design of this ZNE home estimates average monthly utility bills that are drastically improved from other homes, allowing Ms. Sowders peace of mind when balancing her family budget.” 

Officials said they hope to demonstrate that natural gas is not only affordable, but also provides significant greenhouse gas emission reductions. 

“Atmos Energy is proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity in providing innovative energy solutions that support affordable homeownership through lower utility bills,” said Mark Martin, Vice President of Public Affairs at Atmos Energy. “Affordable housing provides strength and stability to individuals and families, and we are committed to meeting that need while also delivering resilient and sustainable energy options for all Kentuckians.” 

June 15, 2022 | 12:07 am

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