8th Annual CT Zero Energy Challenge Winners Announced


Builders and homeowners in Mansfield, Norwalk and Mystic demonstrate that super high efficiency homes are achievable



Builders and homeowners in Mansfield, Norwalk and Mystic demonstrate that super high efficiency homes are achievable NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – June 13, 2018 – Eversource and AVANGRID, Inc. subsidiaries United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, have selected three winners for the eighth annual Energize Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge (ZEC), a statewide design and build competition for single and multi-family homes. The competition featured seven homes from across the state built between June 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018.

In this nationally recognized initiative, participants are challenged to construct high efficiency homes that consume little to no energy by using sustainable building practices.

“Over the past eight years, the Zero Energy Challenge builders and homeowners have helped to transform new residential construction practices across the state. These participants continued that legacy by designing homes built with long-term sustainability and affordability in mind,” said Taren O’Connor, the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board Chair. “I applaud our builders, HERS raters, homeowners and others involved for their dedication and accomplishments. Thank you for championing the zero-energy movement in Connecticut, and demonstrating that these homes are not only great for the environment but affordable and attainable.” 

Homes are evaluated on energy efficiency, affordability and replication. Each home’s HERS Index (Home Energy Rating Score) with and without renewables, its thermal envelope, and cost per square foot are assessed to determine the Challenge’s winners. The HERS Index is a nationally standardized scoring system that measures a home’s energy performance. The lower the number, the more energy efficient the home; a score of zero represents a net zero energy home.  

The 2017 Zero Energy Challenge winners include: 

Overall Winner and Lowest HERS Index and Lowest HERS Index without Renewables Category WinnerProject: Courtney and Lynn McCracken Residence, Mystic, Conn.Builder: Michael Joplin – Joplin Construction, Chester, Conn.Architect: Robert Mercer and Chris Vernott – Mercer, Bertsche, Vernott Architects, Old Mystic, Conn. 

“Forty-six years ago on our first date we dreamed of building and designing a home together – and we never let go of that dream,” said Courtney McCracken, the homeowner. “My naval career exposed us to international living and home design, and through my studies at Brown University, I learned about sustainable building practices. Because of these experiences we decided a sustainable, zero-energy home would best suit our needs for our forever home.”  

Best Overall EnvelopeProject: Paul and Louise Lewis Residence, Mansfield, Conn.Builder: Jamie Wolf – Wolfworks, Avon, Conn. Lowest Cost/Square FootProject: Jan Degenshein Residence, Norwalk, Conn.Builder: Degenshein Architects, Nyack, N.Y. 

Specific project information for all entries can be found by visiting CTZeroEnergyChallenge.com.  The Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge is now seeking participants for its 2018 challenge. Homes must be completed by January 31, 2019. If interested in applying, please visit CTZeroEnergyChallenge.comfor more details. About Energize ConnecticutEnergize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the State of Connecticut, the Connecticut Green Bank, Eversource, UI, SCG and CNG, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Information on energy-saving programs can be found at EnergizeCT.com or by calling 877.WISE.USE.

Media Contacts: Amber Schilberg, on behalf of Energize Connecticut, 860-229-0301, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Winners of Eighth Annual Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge Announced