Tag Archives: net zero home

D.C. couple on tight budget tries for Net-Zero on fixer-upper home

A net-zero home is one that produces all of its own clean and renewable energy. They tend to be new construction or gut remodeling projects because it’s easier to get to net zero by building super-insulated spaces that don’t require much to heat and cool, then add top-of-the-line geothermal heating systems, heat pumps, solar panels and other “green bling” to operate them as efficiently as possible.

Will energy efficiency add value to your home?  Contact the appraisers at www.scappraisals.com for your value questions.

Patrick Hughes and Amy Sticklor began their do-it-yourself approach in fall 2013, shortly after purchasing their first home in Washington’s Atlas District. Instead of replacing big-ticket items such as the aging furnace and boiler (both of which still have a few years of service left in them), they slashed their energy usage in half with less than $500 in insulation, new lighting and other equipment available at the average hardware store or online.

Updates alone made it possible to run their entire 952-square-foot, two-bedroom home for several months of the year without exceeding the amount of energy produced by the solar array they had installed on their rooftop. Their utility bills have plummeted. In environmental terms, meanwhile, Hughes says the couple have saved 1,238.5 kilowatt-hours of power by lowering their energy usage alone. That’s equivalent to planting 22 tree seedlings that would remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over 10 years or driving 2,033 fewer miles.

“It goes to show that you can get really significant energy savings without spending a lot of money,” says Hughes, who has done most of the handiwork and tracks the couple’s progress on a spreadsheet.

read more at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/dc-couple-on-a-tight-budget-tries-for-net-zero-power-on-fixer-upper-home/2015/07/15/93a9e6d8-0972-11e5-a7ad-b430fc1d3f5c_story.html

disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only.

Study watches a family in a net zero home for a year to determine challenges

net zero

DAVIS, calif. — There are no flying cars in Susan O’Hara and Stuart Bennett’s garage, nor robot servants waiting to fetch their slippers and a martini when they arrive home.

Here’s what the ultramodern house with the shed-style roof lines and lapstrake (overlapping planks) siding in this central California town has that you won’t find in a subdivision near you:

• Reclaimed wood for all the trim and furniture, as well as reclaimed nails. Even the concrete is sustainable. The foundation and polished-concrete floors contain pozzolan, which comes from volcanic ash and is used to reduce the amount of Portland cement needed. Making Portland cement requires lots of heat, and thus produces a considerable amount of carbon dioxide.

• This being drought-stricken California, the house is designed with the state’s high environmental protection and water- preservation standards in mind. Runoff water goes into a bioswale on the property, avoiding sewers that eventually empty into the Sacramento River. The collected runoff is used to water plants in the yard, saving fresh water in this drought-ravaged state.

• The house gets all its power from the sun, but remains connected to the grid. In a pinch, an electric car parked in their garage can power the house.

read more at: http://www.denverpost.com/homegarden/ci_27846009/sustainable-house

Demand Spikes for Zero-Energy-Cost Homes

A rising trend of super-efficient, solar-powered new homes allows homeowners to combat rising energy costs by giving back to the power grid. Some owners are even realizing a small profit from their home’s power-generating capacity.

Contact the appraisers at www.scappraisals.com to assist you with determining the value of purchasing an zero-energy-cost home.

Intelligent house layout and design, and home features such as dual-pane windows, air-tight duct work and high-caliber wall and attic insulation are curbing energy consumption. And when coupled with solar energy, captured through photovoltaic panels, these homes are becoming their own mini power plants that feed electricity to the grid.

In 2009, U.S. homeowners paid an average $2,200 for energy use in their homes, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. A growing number of homeowners have the opportunity to zero-out that cost.

“It’s too good to believe,” said Dave Spencer of his net-zero-energy home in Gainesville, Fla. Last month, his energy bill was $2.01 — and that was just because of service fees — after receiving over $10 in credit for energy his home generated. Both semiretired, Spencer and his wife, Sandy, moved into the 1,752-square-foot home last October and have not paid for any energy yet, he said.

read more at: http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/demand-spikes-for-zero-energy-cost-homes.html

Disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only