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Atmos Energy, Habitat for Humanity host...

Atmos Energy, Habitat for Humanity host Zero Net Energy home groundbreaking ceremony

By: Anne Summerhays - April 28, 2022

The Brown family will purchase the home with a 30-year, zero-interest mortgage. 

On Thursday, Atmos Energy and Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area (HFHMCA) held a groundbreaking ceremony for a Zero Net Energy (ZNE) home. This is the first ZNE home to be built in Mississippi.

“We believe in making a difference in our communities, and we are proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area to build an energy efficient home with affordable utility bills,” said John Duease, Atmos Energy vice president of marketing. “Affordable energy is critical to affordable housing, and this project demonstrates our commitment to fueling safe and thriving communities across Mississippi.”

A ZNE home demonstrates significantly reduced green house gas emissions by producing as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year. The home will feature:

  • Rooftop solar panels
  • A Home Energy Report Score (HERS) Rating = 0
  • High-efficiency Energy Star natural gas appliances
  • Top-rated insulation and windows
  • Other advanced weatherization features

“The future homeowner, Shacora Brown, dreamed of owning a home for years,” said Merrill McKewen, Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area executive director. “She and her 5-year-old child currently live in an apartment with plumbing issues which have led to leaks and mildew. The current situation has become unbearable and this ZNE home is an answered prayer – it will be safe, decent, and affordable with a 30-year, zero-interest mortgage.”

At the groundbreaking for a Zero Net Energy home, Bobby Morgan with Atmos Energy talked with Y’all Politics about the project.

Morgan talked about how this project will befit the homeowner, the community, and ultimately the environment.

“This is a corporate-wide initiative. We operate in 8 states, 8 jurisdictions, and we’ve committed to having a ZNE home in each state that we operate in,” Morgan said. “This is the first very one, we hope this is the first of more to come in months, years, and decades ahead.”

State Treasurer David McRae participated in the groundbreaking. He commended the partnership that made the project possible.

“It is an honor to welcome Shacora and her daughter to the undeniable joy of home ownership,” said Mississippi State Treasurer David McRae. “There is a certain pride, a certain sense of freedom and security, that comes with a home you know to be all your own. What’s more, because of the incredible partnership between Habitat for Humanity and Atmos Energy, this is a Zero Net Energy home, forever reducing the Brown family’s energy bill.”

Central District Public Service Commissioner Brent Bailey also spoke at the ceremony. Bailey said he is excited from the aspect of the technologies incorporated in this project and what that means to better energy security.

“Not only will this Zero Net Energy home provide a safe, healthy place for the Brown family, it also demonstrates the wide array of energy efficiency and distributed generation technologies available to home builders and home buyers today,” Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brent Bailey said.  “It’s great to see Habitat for Humanity and Atmos Energy using their partnership to help pave the way to developing more Zero Net Energy homes as a solution to reducing the energy cost burden that faces many low-income households in the south-central region of the U.S.”

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: