Array

Sustainable
Living

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Net zero energy homes are grid-tied houses* designed and built to offset as much energy as they consume through on-site renewable energy sources. Environmental sustainability is built into every aspect of net zero energy homes, from how they are positioned on the property to insulation, wall systems, window selections, and more. Array’s comprehensive Community Residential Standards will extend beyond energy conservation and cost savings to also guarantee healthy interior environments, increased comfort, and high-end durability.

*A grid-tied house stores excess energy it produces on the local power grid for later use.

Yes, there are net zero energy homes in various places throughout North Carolina. There is no neighborhood in the State where all of the homes are net zero energy. Array is the first neighborhood of its kind.

Grid tied means that the houses will be tied to the grid as a source for back up energy. The houses in Array will be built to passive house and net zero energy standards. The excess energy created by your house will be stored in the grid. During peak times, when you need more energy, homes will get their own energy back from the grid. This is called net-metering. Duke Power does not allow homeowners to accrue credits. They zero credits out once a year but you will be able to use energy generated by your own home from the grid during peak times when you need it.

If a home owner wants to be off the grid they can do that.
You can purchase a lot and bring a builder that is not on the approved list of builders. The only requirement is that the homes built in Array meet the National Green Building Standards and the additional net zero energy standards specified for the neighborhood. The home will need to be third party verified that it meets the National Green Building standard and the additional standards specified for Array in the neighborhood covenants.
The average home solar panel system is about $18,000-$24,000 before any incentives are taken into account. The Federal Tax Credit for solar is 26% in 2020. This credit is available to anyone who pays Federal taxes and can be stretched out up to five years if necessary. If your cost is $22,000, subtract 26% ($5720) and you would have a $16,280 solar system.
No, it does not. The solar system and battery back up is a separate charge. The developers are working on having a contract with one-to-two solar providers to get the best pricing possible for Array homeowners.

Southern Energy Management has written as excellent blog on this topic.

Click here https://southern-energy.com/nc-home-solar-financing-options/

It is difficult to use a solar payback period calculator because there are so many unique factors to each pv system and home. Homes in Array will be built to the highest energy efficiency standards possible which will reduce the number of solar panels needed.

If you look at your solar investment in a vacuum, the payback period for a home solar system is typically between 8-12 years. There are a few other factors that should be considered when evaluating the “payback” period for your system.

It is important to understand that a solar system is not just an expense, it’s an asset. It adds value and equity to your home. According to the Net Zero Energy Project and the Department of Energy, the market value of net zero energy homes with solar “sell for 3-8% more than a standard energy efficient home, they spend less than half the time on the market and yield prices $12,000 to $20,000 higher for having solar panels.

The energy efficiency of an Array home with solar panels will add value to your home and this should be taken into account in the payback calculations.

Another factor to consider is that there is a cost of not switching to solar. If you don’t invest in a solar system, you’ll continue to pay the utility each month and electricity prices are only expected increase over time. If you compare your solar savings vs the cost you would have paid to the utility, your break-even point is much shorter.

Another way to look at this is that you are currently renting your power from the utility and rent prices are going up. By investing in solar you will own your power. There are costs to make the jump from renting to owning, but the benefits of owning win out quickly and you’ll continue to reap the benefits for more than 30 years.

Homeowners can have gas stoves/cooktops and/or gas fireplaces. This can be factored into the modeling when your home is being designed to ensure that your home is net zero energy.

The National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS) is the first residential green building rating system approved by ANSI as an American National Standard. NGBS Green certification goes well beyond saying a home is energy efficient; it provides independent, third-party verification that a home, building, and in Array’s case, land development, is designed and built to achieve high performance in six key areas:

  • Site Design
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Building Operation & Maintenance

 

The NGBS third-party certification program ensures homes are built in compliance with three focus areas:

Healthy Homes

  • Providing fresh air ventilation that improves indoor air quality
  • Limiting pollutants and contaminants in the home
  • Preventing moisture problems that can contribute to mold and attract pests
  • Incorporating practices that promote well-being in the buildings we call “home”

 

Lower Operating Costs

  • Reducing utility costs through cost-effective energy and water efficiency practices
  • Controlling maintenance costs through durable construction and product selection
  • Providing technical and educational resources to ensure the home’s optimum performance

 

Sustainable Lifestyle

  • Promoting walkability
  • Reducing home maintenance through enhanced durability
  • Preserving natural resources through responsible land development practices
  • Incentivizing Universal Design elements and resilient construction

HERS is a rating for energy efficiency. The lower the HERS rating the better. Technically, net zero energy homes should have a HERS ratio of “0”.

Yes, Array homeowners will get two certificates. They will get a certificate that their home meets the National Green Building Standards and a certificate from Southern Energy Management that the home also meets the standards in the Array covenants.

Yes, to confirm that Array homes meet both the National Green Building Standards and the additional neighborhood standards developed by Southern Energy Management, homes in Array will be third party certified.

Yes, if the perk for the lots support the additional dwelling that is fine. For example, if the home built on the list has 3 bedrooms and the lot perks for 4 bedrooms, the ADU can be 1 bedroom.

Yes, chickens are very welcome in Array.

At this time, other livestock like goats, horses and potbellied pigs will not be allowed at Array. If the homeowners want to change this rule, they can do this once the HOA takes over the neighborhood.

Yes, you can have a pool in Array. The goal is for each home to be net zero energy. The good thing is your home will have a meter so you can track your energy usage with the addition of the pool. You a home owner can not meet the net zero energy goal, the home is that the homeowner will purchase a carbon off set.

Yes, high performance, green homes are more difficult to value because there are not as many comparable homes. Array will require the use of a specific Addendum that requires a home lender to request an appraiser with knowledge and training in valuing high performance, green, homes.

Yes, Array will have neighborhood dues. These dues have not been determined yet.

Yes, there will be a road maintenance agreement. Each Array homeowner will be responsible for contributing to 1/12th of the cost of maintaining the road on an annual basis. Maintenance of the road will be managed by all 12 homeowners.

We want homeowners to understand the energy efficiency of their homes and to be able to check how the house is functioning over time.  Southern Energy Management will work with the builders to ensure that the houses being designed meet the National Green Building Standards and the net zero energy criterion.  When a homeowner is designing their home, they can see based on the use of different materials or systems, what the impact is on energy consumption.  For example, if a home owner wants to see the impact of using gas for a cook-top rather than electric, this can be done through up-front modeling.

Because all of the homes in Array will have solar panels, the homes will have meters.  Each home owner will be able to see their energy use and the changes in consumption based on life style choices.  The meters will also enable Array, through a partnership with Southern Energy Management, to be able to report annually how the neighborhood is doing toward the goal of 100% net zero energy.  

The intent is to have a dashboard on the neighborhood web site so that people can see the collective impact of the neighborhood.

Modeled. Array’s community standards are a blueprint for a healthy indoor environment and net-zero energy use. All home plans will be modeled prior to being built to ensure they will meet Array’s building standards.     

Measured. Third-party inspections will be conducted at two points during construction to verify the home will perform as designed.

Monitored. Energy monitoring will allow homeowners to understand their energy use in real-time – the key to developing sustainable living practices. Annual reporting will be provided by Array to share the community’s collective impact.

Three Oaks Engineering was hired to do a natural resource inventory of the land. It was determined that there are no protected species in the neighborhood.
Yes, the creek at the very back of the neighborhood is categorized as a wetland by the Corps of Engineers.

The minimum home size in Array will be 1700 square feet. There will be no upper limit on the home size in Array. The only requirement is that all Array homes meet the net zero energy standard.

Yes, Array has two preferred Lenders.

Dan Cunningham

United Community Bank

dan.cunningham@ucbi.com


C.J Hunter

US Mortgage Corp

cj.hunter@usmortgage.com