For a glimpse of the houses of tomorrow, one need look no further than the work of a few forward-thinking production builders. Combining solar energy technologies with energy-efficient features and energy-saving construction techniques, these builders are constructing production houses that generate nearly as much electricity as they consume on an annual basis.The houses, developed under the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Building America research program, act as miniature power plants. As a result, the estimated total annual energy cost for houses in the Zero-Energy Home (ZEH) program is approximately 60 percent less than that of similar houses. DOE's goal is widespread adoption of these and additional features by 2020 in order that a large number of new U.S. houses will be true net-zero-energy homes. For the past three years, ConSol, a mid-sized company offering energy-related services for production builders, architects, trade associations and utilities has been an active player in the research, design, and evaluation of over 500 near-ZEH program houses in nine communities in California. In this talk we will present some of the specific highlights of ConSol's technical work in realizing near-ZEH developments in California.