Last year, Jeff and Rachel Hohensee’s winter energy bill was $500.
This year, they don’t even have an energy bill. Jeff, a consultant on sustainable-living topics at Natural Capitalism Solutions, was feeling guilty about his energy-wasting home, so he and his wife set out on a two-year project that transformed it into a net-zero home–meaning it generates more energy than it uses.
They started with easy fixes like switching to CFL bulbs and low-flow showerheads, and getting an energy audit to see where air was leaking from their home. They used caulk and insulation foam to fill the leaky areas.
Eventually, they hired insulators to add materials to the home’s walls. Jeff says they took the process to a higher level by hiring someone from Standard Renewable Energy to follow the insulators with an infrared gun. The infrared photos would show areas where the initial insulation was too sparse, and more was added. Read more
Open space and energy efficiency in homes.
If it weren’t for the fact that most folks are in a financial vise right now, you might expect that issues like those would be shoo-ins for funding in Boulder County. And you’d be right — the track record is pretty strong. According to Erica Meltzer of the Camera, the Boulder County Ballot Issue 1A result is a bit of a change in course:
For the first time in 20 years, Boulder County voters have rejected a ballot issue to fund open space.
With 89 percent of the projected vote counted, Boulder County Ballot Issue 1A had received just 47 percent of the vote.
The measure would have extended by 15 years a 0.25-percent sales tax set to expire in 2019 that supports open space management and acquisition. County officials said they needed approval this year for an extension to fund long-term debt that would have allowed them to purchase open space now, while prices are lower and there is less competition.