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New Agricultural Worker Housing Community Goes Zero Net Energy

One of the country’s first 100 percent zero net energy (ZNE) housing communities targeted specifically for agricultural workers opened in Northern California this month.




The $13 million Spring Lake project in Woodland has 62 affordable apartments and townhomes for agricultural workers and their families.

California has set a goal for all new residential construction in the state to be ZNE by 2020 and all new commercial construction to be zero net energy by 2030. Spring Lake uses no natural gas and receives most of its power from photovoltaics.

“The community will generate at least as much energy as it consumes,” says Vanessa Guerra, a project manager with Mutual Housing California, a Sacramento-based non-profit that develops sustainable affordable housing communities.

 

The California Energy Commission adopted zero net energy goals in its 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR). It further defined what ZNE buildings are and laid out the necessary steps and renewables options for achieving the ZNE 2020 goals in the 2013 IEPR.

The project was financed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Citibank, Wells Fargo Bank, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the City of Woodland and NeighborhoodWorks.

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The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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