Green New Deal Housing’s first net-zero energy home being built in Duluth

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The groundbreaking on a lot just outside of Harbor Highlands is the start of a new housing initiative.

Green New Deal Housing is building an energy efficient, sustainable, and net-zero energy home, which will be the first of the non-profit’s in the Arrowhead region.

Interim Executive Director Rachel Wagner says, “"This is not a one-off, this is not a demonstration home. First and foremost this is the first of the only kind of home that Green New Deal Housing will build."

The 100% electrical house is said to be able to keep occupants passively comfortable even during weather extremes.

"It also basically sort of builds in security for the homeowners,” says Wagner, “When your energy needs are met by renewable energy on site, you don’t suffer these volatile energy costs. Or if it’s a freezing cold winter and you need more heat than you might have the year before, it doesn’t break you budget."

The organization says that over the course of a decade the way houses have been made have stayed the same, which continues to cause an inconvenience when neighborhoods are met with extreme weather.

"Our current housing isn’t really equipped to keep occupants comfortable in those conditions without a ton of energy inputs”, says Wagner.

And even with solar panels installed on the roof of the house, the home is not overly expensive to build.

Rachel says, "The cost to build a house like this to these standards is about 11% more than the cost to build a house today to code, so the short answer is no, it’s not a lot more money."

Green New Deal Housing is starting what they hope will be a new trend to carry across the region. Rachel says “If we continue heat our homes, cook with fossil fuels, we are not taking advantage of this shift to a renewable energy society"