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Eversource and the United Illuminating Company have selected four winners for the sixth annual Energize Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge (ZEC), a statewide design/build competition for single and multi-family homes. This year’s competition featured nine homes from across the state built between June 1, 2014 and December 31, 2015.

In this nationally-recognized initiative, participants are challenged to construct high efficiency homes that consume little to no energy.

“The Zero Energy Challenge exemplifies the future of residential new construction, and demonstrates the positive impact zero energy building can have on our community and environment,” said Connecticut Department of Energy and Environment Protection Commissioner Rob Klee during the Award Ceremony on Thursday, April 7. “As early adopters of the zero energy movement, Connecticut builders and homeowners are proving that high performance, green homes are sustainable and affordable. This year’s participants serve as examples to everyone throughout Connecticut that being energy efficient and having a zero energy home is attainable.”

RESNET Rating Standards are used to determine each home's HERS Index (Home Energy Rating Score), 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).

Competing builders and architects implement energy-saving features into the home’s design to increase energy performance and lower its HERS Index. The project’s cost effectiveness and the home's total estimated operating costs are also used to determine the winners in each category.

This year’s Zero Energy Challenge winners include:

Overall Winner (tied)

Project: Paul and Julia Torcellini Residence, Eastford, Conn.

Designer: Paul and Julia Torcellini

Builder: Davis Contracting, Oxford, Mass.

“Energy efficiency and clean energy is a huge part of who I am. When I built my new home in Connecticut, it was important to me and my family to have a house that not only contained energy efficient technologies, but was designed to be sustainable and make saving energy easy. It is an honor to be recognized as one of the overall winners in this year’s CT Zero Energy Challenge.” – Paul Torcellini, homeowner/builder, principal engineer for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and associate professor for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Overall Winner (tied)

Project: James and Phoebe Katzin Residence, Litchfield, Conn.

Builder: Revival Homes LLC, New Hartford, Conn.

“Building high performance, energy efficient homes is one of our specialties. The CT Zero Energy Challenge gave us an opportunity to quantify our results and be recognized for our efforts. We were lucky to find a client interested in pushing the boundaries of high performance while minimizing the total cost of owning and operating a home.”  – David Jones of Revival Homes, LLC.

Lowest HERS Index Without Renewables Winner

Project: Lowell and Patricia Kallen Residence, Woodstock, Conn.

Builder: Lehto Design/Build, Killingly, Conn.

Lowest Overall HERS Index Winner

Project: Ken Stanwicks and Donna Martin Residence, East Haddam, Conn.

Builder: Skip Kamis, Inc., Glastonbury, Conn.


Specific project information for all entries can be found by visiting

The Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge is now seeking participants for its 2016 challenge. The deadline to apply is June 1, 2016. Homes must be completed by December 15, 2016. If interested in applying, please visit for more details.

About Energize Connecticut

Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Connecticut Green Bank, the State, and your local electric and gas utilities, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Information on energy-saving programs can be found at or by calling 1.877.WISE.USE.