We know we can have healthier communities right now and a livable future for kids growing up today. But to get there, we must transform the way we produce and consume energy. That’s got to start with a commitment to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. 

To achieve our goal of 100% renewables, we need smart strategies that combine energy savings with renewable energy. A great place to start is getting the buildings where we live and work to generate as much energy as they use (net-zero energy). There’s an inspiring new innovation in the Netherlands that aims to make net-zero energy homes affordable and accessible to everyone

Energiesprong, a Netherlands-based company, has launched a program designed to turn old rental homes into zero-net energy homes in less than a week. The program covers the roof of existing homes with solar panels, puts new facades on the walls, and installs an energy box that plugs into the home to provide sustainable heat, hot water, power and ventilation. It’s so non-intrusive that residents do not even have to move out! And, the best part: after the retrofit is complete, electricity bills are completely eliminated. 

Over the next five years, the program plans to retrofit approximately 111,000 homes in the Netherlands and has plans to export the program to the United Kingdom.

We’ll be watching this program closely and look to replicate programs like this in the U.S. Stay tuned!