PG&E Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Pilot Program


The PG&E Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Pilot Program launched in 2010 and supports the 2008 California Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan zero net energy goals that all new residential construction in California be ZNE by 2020, and that all new commercial construction be ZNE by 2030.

The PG&E ZNE Pilot Program is focused on achieving maximal energy efficiency and load reduction by leveraging advanced design, construction and building operations before the addition of on-site renewable energy generation, such as solar PV. A zero net energy building is one that produces as much clean, renewable, grid-tied energy on-site as it uses when measured over a calendar year.

The Zero Net Energy Pilot Program promotes California’s long term energy goals through a portfolio of research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) projects around ZNE buildings together with complementary education, outreach and information activities.

ZNE Pilot Program Education and Outreach Activities

The ZNE Pilot Program supports a number of outreach activities, including workshops and educational series for those looking to learn more about Zero Net Energy. The workshops are intended to help design professionals as they develop the knowledge necessary to create the next generation of energy saving buildings. Workshops are offered through PG&E’s Pacific Energy Training Center and PG&E’s Stockton Energy Training Center.

The pilot program convenes periodic speaker forums and presentations on key topics related to zero net energy that are of interest to developers, architects, planners, engineers, builders and residents. Information on the next ZNE speaker forum planned for September 2012 will be posted to this website.

The PG&E ZNE Pilot Program in collaboration with the San Francisco Chapter of the American Institute of Architects has developed an annual zero net energy design competition, Architecture at Zero. The competition solicits state of the art design concepts for Zero Net Energy building and is open to a wide range of building and environmental professionals, as well as students.

ZNE Pilot Program Technical Studies and Research

The PG&E ZNE Pilot Program provides support and coordination for a number of technical assessments of ZNE building materials and applications.

The program is currently supporting two major research efforts: One on the technical feasibility of zero net energy buildings for various building types, and specific to California climates; and another study that will serve as a broad-based policy and market inquiry on pathways forward to the 2020 and 2030 ZNE goals.

ZNE Pilot Program Design and Technical Assistance Consultations

Through a competitive public process, the ZNE pilot program matches ZNE developments at a variety of project phases and scales with world-class technical advisory teams that help the projects to meet their energy efficiency goals through design and technical assistance. The pilot program works with community-scale, residential and commercial projects. An emphasis is placed on the transferability of knowledge and potentials for broad application; The ZNE pilot program will be producing a number of publically available case studies based on the consultations. The first release of these studies is anticipated for early 2013.

Contact Us

PG&E Zero Net Energy Classes and Trainings

Note: Search the class lists for "ZNE"

Zero Net Energy Design Workshops
A series of workshops dedicated to designing Zero Net Energy commercial buildings.

PG&E's Pacific Energy Center
The Pacific Energy Center in San Francisco offers a number of classes that address ZNE topics.

PG&E's Stockton Energy Training Center
PG&E's Energy Training Center in Stockton offers a Residential Series on ZNE building.

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