Meritage Homes Unveils First ‘Net-Zero’ Production Home

“Net Zero Revolution Home Sweepstakes” Launched Nationally in Conjunction with Unveiling; One Lucky Family to Win Net-Zero Home in Arizona

PHOENIX, April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Meritage Homes has unveiled the first ‘net-zero’ production home built in the United States in the Verrado community of Buckeye, Ariz. A net-zero home produces as much energy as it consumes, thanks to its array of extreme energy-efficient features.

To introduce its net-zero homes and their affordability to the average home buyer, Meritage Homes also will launch a national “Net Zero Revolution Home Sweepstakes” on Earth Day, April 22, in which one individual will have the opportunity to win a Meritage Homes net-zero home in its Lyon’s Gate community located in Gilbert, Ariz. The sweepstakes ends on May 30 and a winner will be announced in early June.

The Meritage net-zero home in Buckeye and the sweepstakes home in Gilbert incorporate energy-efficient design and details into every nook and cranny. The homes’ features include 100 percent ENERGY STAR®–certified appliances, ECHO® Solar System, extreme energy-efficient HVAC system, air-tight spray-foam insulation, “smart” controllers for landscape irrigation, lighting, thermostats and more; double low-E vinyl windows, dual-flush actuator toilets and low-flow showers and faucets for water conservation; advanced CFL lighting system, and low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) carpets, paints and finishes for a healthier, safer, and more environmentally friendly home.

There are an estimated 100 net-zero homes in the country to date, but these are either custom-built homes with the price tags to match or homebuilder spec-display homes. Meritage has incorporated all of the energy-efficient elements necessary to build its first net-zero home as standard features for new home buyers in Verrado.

“Meritage Homes has been building energy-efficient homes for the past 25 years, but we raised the bar in delivering the next phase of what we’re calling a residential revolution,” said Steve Hilton, chairman and CEO of Meritage Homes. “The net-zero home illustrates how new homes can and should be built in the future to maximum energy efficiency.”

Recently awarded the coveted “2011 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year,” Meritage Homes is best known for integrating advanced technologies into its design and building, from the ground up, and at no added cost to the home buyer.

Bruce and Kerry Ploeser and their four children are Meritage Homes’ first “net-zero family,” and recently moved into their Meritage net-zero home in Buckeye. Ploeser, an Air Force veteran, and his family had lived in numerous locations throughout the country over the course of his military career, so when the family finally settled in Arizona, Ploeser already knew the type of home environment he wanted for his family in order to put down their roots.

“I did my homework,” Ploeser said. “If my family was going to make a move, I wanted it to be a ‘smart move.’ Meritage Homes incorporated nearly every aspect of my energy-efficient ‘wish list’ into their new home models, then took it up a notch to incorporate the final piece in making the home truly ‘net zero’ for us.”

“We encourage prospective home owners, like the Ploesers, to do their research, and they’ll discover the practicality and affordability of building and buying a net-zero home,” said C.R. Herro, Meritage Homes vice president of environmental affairs. “A net-zero home is not the home of the future anymore—the future is now.”

For more information about Meritage Homes, visit meritagehomes.com.

To enter the Meritage Homes Net Zero Revolution Home Sweepstakes, visit www.Facebook.com/meritagehomes.

About Meritage Homes Corporation

Meritage Homes is the 9th-largest homebuilder in the United States based on homes closed. Meritage builds a variety of homes across the Southern and Western states to appeal to a wide range of buyers, including first-time, move-up, luxury and active adults. As of Dec. 31, 2010, the company had 151 actively selling communities in 12 metropolitan areas, including Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Tucson, Las Vegas, Denver, Orlando and the East Bay/Central Valley and Southern California.

In 2010, Meritage celebrated its 25th anniversary and launched a new Simply Smart Series™ of homes and a 99-day guaranteed completion program in certain communities, and is the only large national homebuilder to be 100 percent ENERGY STAR® qualified in every home started since Jan. 1, 2010. Meritage has designed and built nearly 70,000 homes in its 25-year history, and has a reputation for its distinctive style, quality construction, and positive customer experience.