SMUD La Valentina North ZNE Study

TRC was selected by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) to support Domus Development’s La Valentina North project: an 18-unit, near-zero net energy (ZNE) multifamily property. We monitored and compared the expected and measured energy use performance resulting from implemented energy efficiency measures and solar generation.



Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)

Project Location

Sacramento, CA

La Valentina North presented a valuable opportunity to explore the actual performance of low-rise multi-family design strategies that produce deep model-predicted energy savings. This research aligns with broader utility and state goals to move buildings towards ZNE use.

TRC monitored six dwelling units, representing at least one of each of the four types of units at the property. Electric end-uses were monitored via a remote, web-enabled system called eMonitor. Thermostats that communicate wirelessly with the eMonitor system were installed in each monitored unit.

We reviewed the monitored data to report on actual energy use as compared to predicted energy use by unit as well as average use for the building. Overall, results demonstrated large variations in energy use by unit—largely driven by the use of air conditioning equipment. Plug loads and appliances constituted a large portion of the overall energy use, which was relatively constant throughout the year.

As a result of the study, we were able to:

  • Illustrate occupant behavior and choices around thermostat operation are critical to energy savings
  • Confirm ZNE performance in multifamily buildings is possible, with attention on building operation
  • Confirm that achieving ‘Zero Peak’ (ZNE during peak events) is possible through combination of energy efficiency and solar PV

Download the SMUD report "La Valentina North Affordable Townhomes"

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