net-ze·​ro ˈnet-ˈzē-(ˌ)rō How to pronounce net-zero (audio)
: resulting in neither a surplus nor a deficit of something specified when gains and losses are added together
net-zero carbon emissions
The General Services Administration has sealed an unusual deal to guarantee achievement of net-zero energy consumption in a federal facility …Charles S. Clark
especially, of buildings : producing enough energy (as through solar panels or passive heating) to offset any energy consumed
By 2020 all new homes built in California will have to be net-zero buildings that produce enough power to offset all their energy needs … K. Kaufmann
Another affordable, net-zero house is under construction in North Minneapolis, and a third is in development at the school. John Cary

Examples of net-zero in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Although such grandiose plans have stalled, Mongolia remains committed to becoming a net-zero economy by 2050 and hopes to set international standards for responsible resource exploitation. TIME, 14 May 2024 Milwaukee passed its own Climate and Equity Plan last year, which seeks net-zero emissions by 2050, like Wauwatosa. Bridget Fogarty, Journal Sentinel, 13 May 2024 To reach California’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, Ms. Parson said, 90 percent of light and medium vehicles must go electric, along with 80 percent of buses and 54 percent of heavy-duty vehicles. Ivan Penn, New York Times, 4 May 2024 The company is now committed to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and hitting net-zero by 2050. TIME, 17 Apr. 2024 Coal plants have scaled down production or shut down altogether as the market transitions to green energy, hastened by laws in Maryland and Virginia mandating net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and, for several other states in the region, by 2050. Antonio Olivo, Washington Post, 17 Apr. 2024 That uptick will not only set AI advancement back, but also tech and utility companies looking to meet their net-zero emissions goals. Laura Bratton, Quartz, 16 Apr. 2024 The solar panel project is the latest sustainability effort from the college, which aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2038. Julia Binswanger, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Apr. 2024 Solving climate change is a numbers game, and the goal — as defined by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — is to reach net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by roughly 2050. Justine Calma, The Verge, 11 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'net-zero.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1936, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of net-zero was in 1936

Dictionary Entries Near net-zero

Cite this Entry

“Net-zero.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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