California’s 1st Net Zero Energy Home Stays Cool with ERS Retractable Solar Screens

March 3, 2016

The Cottle NZE Home
The Cottle Zero Energy Home in Willow Glen, California by One Sky Homes

The Cottle Zero Energy Home in Willow Glen is the first Net Zero Energy (NZE) new home built in California – and the first to be recognized by the California Energy Commission as one of the highest-performing energy efficient homes in the State.

This visionary contemporary home resets performance standards for indoor air quality, comfort, energy and water efficiency, and of course, modern style and luxury.

Exterior View of ERS' Solar Screens
Exterior view of ERS’ solar screens on the Cottle NZE Home’s window

European Rolling Shutters, the Bay Area’s leader in shading solutions since 1983, is proud to provide the energy saving solar screens that contributed to the NZE home.

ERS’ retractable solar screens help maintain a comfortable indoor temperature without sacrificing your view. They can filter 90% of the sun’s UV rays which decrease the sun’s heating effect more effectively than traditional interior window blinds – sometimes by 15 to 20 degrees. This is the reason why solar screens were chosen to optimize the energy efficiency of the Cottle Zero Energy Home.

The Cottle Zero Energy Home was built by One Sky Homes, a Silicon Valley residential design/build contractor specializing in high-energy performance custom homes and whole house remodels. The company uses sustainable building practices and “green” rating systems, which include:one sky homes

So what is Net Zero Energy?

Basically, it’s the gold standard of green energy. It means that whatever energy is used in a home is offset by renewable power produced on site, namely solar electricity and solar water heating. Hyper-efficient energy use comes from optimizing thermal energy flow throughout the house and, in this case, the use of 28 solar photovoltaic panels, super-insulating triple-pane windows and motorized solar screens.

If going off-the-grid is not for you, don’t worry; Zero Energy Homes stay connected because at times, like on an overcast day, the house may use some energy from the local utility company. Throughout the year, however, the Zero Energy Home will produce enough surplus power to sell back to the utility, off-setting the amount purchased, resulting in a net-zero annual energy bill!

Net Zero is an emerging building standard, not just a fad. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) developed the Residential New Construction Zero Net Energy Action Plan, which requires all new houses built beginning in 2020 to meet the Zero Net Energy requirements. Motorized solar screens filter most of the sun’s UV rays, significantly reducing the need for air conditioning. As builders strive for compliance, you will see solar screen much more frequently in new homes.

Interior View of ERS' Solar Screens
Interior view of ERS’ solar screens on the Cottle NZE Home’s window

Besides being energy-efficient, European Rolling Shutters’ retractable solar screens limit the sun’s damaging effects on your skin, furniture and floors. Best of all, you don’t have to compromise on style or deal with the strings of traditional blinds. Your solar screen fits attractively in a box right above your window or sliding glass door and comes with automatic controls. Super-efficient solar powered screens, like the ones on the Cottle home, are also available.

If you want more information on the energy saving value of solar screens, check out the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA) Energy Study. It shows how solar shades reduced annual cooling costs up to 86% for homes in San Francisco. Solar shades are also recommended by the US Department of Energy as an energy efficient window treatment (Source:

European Rolling Shutters’ Can Cut Your Energy Bills – Whatever the Age of Your Home

Not everyone can afford a custom home, but European Rolling Shutters can help any homeowner reduce their energy bills. Our retractable solar screens can be applied to all glass windows and doors to filter the sun’s glare and excessive heat, cutting back on air -conditioning and lowering your PG&E bill.

ERS' Retractable Solar Screens
ERS’ retractable solar screens – a worthwhile investment that adds value to your home

Although thin, our solar screens are durable, corrosion-resistant and very long lasting. And unlike our aluminum rolling shutters, solar screens are semi-transparent, which lets you enjoy the sunset without baking like a potato.

Some Benefits of Our Retractable Solar Screens:

  • Reduce cooling costs instantly – more efficient than blinds and shades at absorbing heat.
  • Reclaim living areas lost to bright light and too much heat – maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the house.
  • Increase home value and create a stylish, elegant look.
  • Easy operation with Somfy® automatic controls.
  • Large color selection of screens and frames including white, beige and dark brown.
  • Filter skin-damaging UV rays while preserving the view outdoors.
  • Easily combined with our retractable awnings, pergolas and rolling shutters.
  • Rot and mildew proof – our PVC-coated fiberglass material lasts for years.
Enjoy the Shade
Enjoy the shade and sun protection WITHOUT sacrificing the view!

European Rolling Shutters has been the Bay Area’s exterior shading expert since 1983. We are a family owned and operated business with a manufacturing facility and showroom located in South San Jose. We offer a range of energy saving products in addition to solar screens:

Exterior Rolling Shutters
Retractable Awnings

Retractable Pergola Covers

Contact us for a free in-home consultation and estimate!

Phone: 408-629-3740