California “ZNE Watchlist” released, the first state tracking list for zero energy buildings

May 14, 2015—A new resource for tracking progress toward zero net energy (ZNE) buildings in California is now available from New Buildings Institute (NBI). ZNE buildings are extremely energy efficient, through clean, renewable resources to generate as much energy each year as they use onsite. States across the nation are pursuing ZNE targets and policies as an important strategy to meet energy efficiency and climate action plan goals. The new California ZNE Watchlist, produced with support from the California Public Utilities Commission, tracks buildings that are either “ZNE Verified” or “Ultra-low Energy”. The list also includes “Emerging ZNE” buildings, those buildings built or in progress with stated goals to meet zero energy performance. Buildings that appear on the verified lists have had 12 months of energy data reviewed by NBI analysts or other verified sources to determine if the energy performance qualifies as ZNE or Ultra-low Energy.

In 2014, NBI Published the Getting to Zero Status Report (an update to their 2012 report) which included a national list of verified and emerging zero energy buildings. NBI’s 2015 national list, consistently shows California’s outstanding progress in both verified and emerging ZNE buildings. “We are tracking ZNE buildings across the country and currently find them in 40 of the 50 states and in every climate zone,” said Ralph DiNola, CEO of New Buildings Institute. “California leads the nation in the development of zero net energy buildings and this new resource further highlights California’s commitment to green building, energy efficiency and climate responsibility.”

With ambitious statewide goals for all new residential structures to achieve ZNE by 2020 and for all new commercial buildings to reach that objective by 2030, California’s big bold goals continue to drive innovation and a new industry in energy efficiency. 82 buildings made the list, with 15 “Verified ZNE” buildings, 51 “Emerging ZNE” and 16 “Verified Ultra-low Energy”. With the continual growth of ZNE building stock in California, the ZNE Watchlist is an important resource for tracking the trends and emerging new leaders in zero energy buildings.

For information about tools and zero energy resources available to support California in the push toward ZNE, visit:

To add your building to the California ZNE Watchlist list or NBI’s national ZNE tracking list, visit the NBI Building Registry:


About NBI
New Buildings Institute (NBI) is a nonprofit organization working to improve the energy performance of commercial buildings. We work collaboratively with commercial building market players–governments, utilities, energy efficiency advocates and building professionals–to remove barriers to energy efficiency, including promoting advanced design practices, improved technologies, public policies and programs that improve energy efficiency. We also develop and offer guidance to individuals and organizations on designing and constructing energy-efficient buildings through our New Construction® suite of tools and resources.