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
Zero-energy homes have been popping up in Boulder for years. Often they’re built by die-hard greenies or, more recently, those with large pocketbooks and an eco-conscience.
But now, Boulder’s getting it’s firs net-zero neighborhood, where all 12 houses will produce as much energy as they use.
From the Daily Camera:
Local developer Ron Monahan stood outside the first of 12 homes he and his business partner plan to build in a new north Boulder subdivision and talked about his vision: “We’re bringing this to the masses.”
“This” is a zero-energy home. It’s a house built with less lumber and more insulation; with recycled countertops and bamboo cabinets; with a geothermal system and a 10-kilowatt solar array. And it’s built in what will become the first zero-energy neighborhood in Boulder, and likely, one of the first in the country.
Monahan and co-developer Terry Britton worked with architect George Watt and Silver Lining builders to construct the model home for the planned SpringLeaf “eco-community,” which will sit across Broadway form Lucky’s Market. Read more