Building homes that make more power than they take

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By MICHAEL HILL, Associated Press

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. (AP) — Homes being built in the Hudson Valley town of New Paltz offer prospective buyers wooded lots, pretty views and — oh yes — the promise of thumbing your nose at the power utility.

These "zero-net energy" homes will feature thick walls, solar panels and geothermal heating and cooling systems, meaning families should be able to generate more energy over a year than they consume.

The homes under construction 70 miles north of New York City have costly green features. But the builders believe they are in tune with consumers increasingly concerned about the environment and fuel costs.

And there are buyers here and around the nation willing to pay more for savings down the line.

Zero-net homes generate energy, typically solar, and are designed to reduce energy consumption.

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