Noble Home is setting a goal to offer Kits that can easily meet the standards for a Zero Net Energy (ZNE) home. This has not been a goal in the past, and ZNE homes are not for everyone.
The accepted way to reach ZNE is through strict energy conservation first, then to produce enough energy on-site to supply what little is needed to run the home. This is most commonly done with the use of Photovoltaic panels (PV), which have become more affordable in the past decade. This means, of course, that all energy needs of the home must be powered by electricity - usually tied to the power grid. Is this sustainable long term? Do we necessarily want to rely on the grid for our power needs? ZNE: yes; but independence: no.
Nevertheless, a home ready for ZNE is very energy efficient and there may come some better technologies that can help attain ZNE while also promoting independence. Look for further information here in the near future!