Building homes that make more power than they take

Jul 24, 2013 by Michael Hill
A worker works on the roof of a zero net energy home at The Preserve at Mountain Vista on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, in New Paltz, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

(AP)—Homes being built in the Hudson Valley town of New Paltz offer prospective buyers wooded lots, pretty views and—oh yes—the promise of thumbing your nose at the power utility.

These "zero-net energy" homes will feature thick walls, and geothermal heating and cooling systems, meaning families should be able to generate more energy over a year than they consume.

The homes under construction 70 miles north of New York City have costly green features. But the builders believe they are in tune with consumers increasingly concerned about the environment and fuel costs.

And there are buyers here and around the nation willing to pay more for savings down the line.

Gil Lobell stands in his zero net energy home that is under construction at The Preserve at Mountain Vista on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, in New Paltz, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

A zero net energy home under construction is seen from the interior of another at The Preserve at Mountain Vista on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, in New Paltz, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

A zero net energy home is seen on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, in New Paltz, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

A worker works on the roof of a zero net energy home at The Preserve at Mountain Vista on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, in New Paltz, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Zero-net homes generate , typically solar, and are designed to reduce .

Explore further: Research shows how householders could stay warm for less simply by storing heat better

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