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Home Sweet Zero Energy Home: What It Takes to Develop Great Homes that Won't Cost Anything to Heat, Cool or Light Up, Without Going Broke or Crazy Paperback – January 3, 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

Home Sweet Zero Energy Home: What It Takes to Develop Great Homes that Won't Cost Anything to Heat, Cool or Light Up, Without Going Broke or Crazy + Toward a Zero Energy Home: A Complete Guide to Energy Self-Sufficiency at Home + The Solar House: Passive Heating and Cooling
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers; 1st edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865716986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865716988
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,140,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Barry Rehfeld: has been a journalist for over 30 years and is the founder of zeroenergyintelligence.com where he writes about everything you need to know to build, buy or renovate a home that produces as much energy as it uses. After graduating from college as a mechanical engineer, he worked in power plants, where he saw first-hand the problems of carbon emissions before they became a worldwide issue. His passion for zero energy grew out of a half dozen feature stories he wrote for The New York Times on developing more energy efficient homes.

More About the Author

I'm a writer, editor and teacher. I'm the author of "Home Sweet Zero Energy Home" (New Society), a book about energy efficiency and the environment, and, for the past few years, I've taught physics and math in high school, while maintaining a web site called Zeroenergyintelligence.com. I've given talks on energy efficient building and I am available to do so again.

I am the co-author of "The New Crowd" (Little, Brown), a best-seller about Wall Street power. Going back over the years, I've won the NYSSCPA "Excellence in Financial Journalism" award. I was a senior writer for Institutional Investor, the features editor for American Banker and a reporter-researcher at Time magazine. As a freelancer, I wrote dozens of business stories for The New York Times, as well as a few other freelance business (and entertainment) feature stories for Esquire, Rolling Stone, Dissent, Film Comment and New York magazines.

I've been around the world. Along the way, I crossed the Sahara, worked on cargo ships, climbed Kilimanjaro, scuba dived in Bermuda and skied the Alps. I ran the Boston Marathon in 2:53:45. I have a wife and a son. I have my faults, but on the Internet the spin is positive so I'll keep them to myself.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J.D.(Dave) Lee on May 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
I had high expectations for this book but ended up angry that the author could not separate the ideas of building green and energy efficiency. It is nice when they coincide but that doesn't always happen. Some charts comparing the costs, energy savings and relative environmental consequences of using various products would have shown the ideas far more quickly that pages of prose. In addition,the book reads like the author did only internet research and didn't actually show some common sense. An example of this is his bias against basements because it is his opinion that the manufacture of concrete is not good for the environment. However, he does not acknowledge that basements can be very energy efficient and that the earth is a very good insulator. The book was a big disappointment and I'm glad I read a library version first instead of buying my own copy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Whitmill on February 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was skeptical when I saw the title. Zero Energy that's crazy, why not just lower energy? Upon reading, I found out that the Zero part comes by having solar panels that feed back into the grid on sunny days and zero out your electricity bill. Solar panels, enough to produce five kilowatts per year etc., are still real expensive, like $20,000 - $30,000 and up, but they last 20 years and are beginning to be built and bought.

Other things in the book cover super-insulated walls and attics, windows, appliances, HVAC(heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems, including geothermal heating and cooling. There are lots of references to web sites for ratings and info. There's chapter on tax credits and other incentives. All and all a good intro to energy efficient building and savings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Burgundy Damsel VINE VOICE on December 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book seemed largely designed as an introduction for people who haven't done much reading or research on the topics presented. Many ideas were addressed only at very shallow levels, or were very basic concepts, i.e. using passive solar energy. The other big disappointment is that it dealt heavily with design/construction, to the point that it was focused on new builds to the exclusion of retrofits or upgrades.

Considering that there is much more call for retrofits and improvements to existing properties than opportunity to start completely fresh, that felt like a glaring oversight to me.

All things considered, I suggest skipping this one. I recommend Prescriptions for a Healthy House, 3rd Edition: A Practical Guide for Architects, Builders & Homeowners. It's not strictly Zero Energy focused, but it's a much more realistic guide for choosing and implementing healthy and green options for your home - whether you're building new or not.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TEK on August 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good book for the average homeowner, but weak for anyone who has read other books or magazines on the topic.
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