Custom builder wins ‘green’ award

Custom home builder BPC Green Builders of Wilton has received the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 Housing Innovation Award in the category of Custom Homes for Buyers, for the fourth time in five years.

The DOE’s Housing Innovation Awards recognize the nation’s most innovative builders who are taking housing to the next level of energy efficiency and using DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home program, a press release said.

BPC Green Builders’ 2017 award winner is a 3,600-square-foot home in Clinton, N.Y., that meets or exceeds all the requirements of DOE’s “Zero Energy Ready Home Program.”

One key aspect of a Zero Energy Ready Home is that the home can achieve “net zero” energy use with a modest array of solar panels installed. Net Zero means the solar panels generate sufficient surplus clean energy to offset any energy the home uses from the power grid.

The home’s surplus energy then goes back into the power grid and offsets any energy the home uses from the grid at night and on cloudy days.

When the home puts its surplus power back into the grid, an industry practice called “Net Metering” is essentially like the electric meter running backward, crediting the homeowner for the clean, renewable energy put back into the grid.

Since peak power use is during the day, when home solar panels produce surplus energy, this reduces the need and cost for power companies to build more generating capacity. This means less use of fossil fuels or nuclear energy, both of which are problematic environmentally.

BPC Green Builders, Inc. is a certified green custom home builder specializing in building and renovating high-performance, green custom homes. Founded in 1998 by brothers Michael and Chris Trolle, BPC is one of Connecticut’s first green builders.

In 2015, BPC Green Builders won the Housing Innovation Award’s Grand Prize for all categories. BPC also won in 2013 and 2014 for custom homes. The DOE started its Housing Innovation Awards program in 2013.