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Eversource and AVANGRID, Inc. subsidiaries United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, have selected three winners for the ninth annual Energize Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge (ZEC), a statewide design and build showcase for single and multi-family homes. The challenge featured nine homes from across the state built last year.  


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


“Congratulations to our Zero Energy Challenge champions for going above and beyond to demonstrate the growing importance of sustainability in Connecticut,” said Amanda Fargo-Johnson, Energy Efficiency Board Interim Chair. “It is an honor to recognize these homeowners and builders who are transforming the residential construction industry and proving that these homes are not only environmentally friendly, but also affordable and attainable.”


The 2018 Zero Energy Challenge winners include:


Overall Winner 

Project: Sean Holmes and Carla Waclawski Residence, Higganum, Conn.  

Builder: Jamie Wolf and Janet Downey – Wolfworks, Avon, Conn. 


“The story behind our house is one of persistence and vision. After falling in love and buying land where we wanted to build our house, we were met with some challenges that prohibited us from beginning construction for five years,” said Sean Holmes. “Eversource and the Wolfworks team were instrumental in helping us overcome these obstacles – and now we have a place to call home!” 


Best Overall Envelope (Building Outer Shell) Winner

Project homeowner and builder: Eliza and Brian Martel Residence, Canterbury, Conn. 


Lowest Cost/Square Foot Winner

Project: Archna Khattar and Jeff Dean Residence, Mansfield, Conn.

Builder: Nick Lehto – Lehto Design/Build, Danielson, Conn. 


Peter Harding Service Award for Dedication and Service to High Performance Housing 

Nick Lehto – Lehto Design/Build, Danielson, Conn. 


Specific project information for all entries can be found by visiting


The Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge is now seeking participants for its 2019 challenge. Homes must be completed by January 31, 2020. 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 State of Connecticut, the Connecticut Green Bank, Eversource, UI, SCG and CNG, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Information on energy-saving programs can be found at or by calling 877.WISE.USE.