When Spartan Giordano and Hannah Smeltz decided to build a net-zero home in Greenfield, MA they knew there’d be benefits. What they didn’t count on was that the house would be awarded NESEA’s (Northeast Sustainable Energy Association) annual $10,000 prize.

The award was presented this week at NESEA’s BuildingEnergy'15 conference in Boston. According to NESEA’s website, the Zero Net Energy Building Award is the culmination of the organization’s  “annual search for the best building in the Northeast that captures as much energy as it consumes.”

In order to qualify, the building must be in the six New England states, or NY, NJ, PA, and DE.  Also, the building must be occupied and its energy use must be documented for 12 month prior to application for the award. Click here for more details about applying for the award.

Although this is the first house that Giordano built, he got interested in the process while taking classes at Greenfield Community College’s Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Program.

Since building the home, he has started Spartan Solar, a company that not only installs solar hot-water systems but also does home energy consulting.

You can learn more about this award winning home at Giordano’s house blog. An open house tour is scheduled for May 1, 2015.