Two Years Energy Usage Data

Two Years Energy Usage Data

Our house used very close to the energy predicted by the models when we designed it.  The above chart shows the energy usage in terms of intuitive quantities… We used about the same amount of electricity as if we left 5 100W lightbulbs on constantly, and we produced as much with our PV panels as 7 of those bulbs would use.  In an average month, we consumed about 1 and […]

Our Electric Vehicle Decision

Our Electric Vehicle Decision

With so many variables, it’s hard to decide on an EV.  Here’s what we grappled with in our decision to (Spoiler Alert) lease a 2016 Nissan Leaf: 1.       Range anxiety (at 110 miles per charge, is that enough for our family?) 2.       Understanding federal and state incentives 3.       Degradation in battery life over time – how real is this? 4.       Drive-ability 5.       Room for 5 people comfortably? 6.       Newer models […]

Go See the Solar Decathlon!

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon – College Students Competing for a Clean Energy/Cool House Future For the next two weekends, there are 14 creatively efficient small homes on display at the Great Park in Irvine, CA.  Sponsored by the DOE, the Solar Decathlon challenges teams of students to create sub-1000sf homes that: Cost less than $250,000 to build Have systems that heat, cool, run appliances, provide hot water and […]

Open House a Big Success

200 visitors attended the “Behind the Walls Open House” event held at the house Sunday, January 11.  There to answer questions were: Dan Hardey, Hardey Construction Cynthia Kraus & Claudia Wiehen, OPENHAUS Design Bryan Amburgey, Solar Source Mike Burch, D’Mand Hot Water Systems It was great to see the turnout, despite the NFL playoffs and rain that morning.  The skies cleared just in time for our real-time solar demonstration.  Visitors […]

Germany’s Renewable Gamble

Germany’s Renewable Gamble

With our Net Zero Nest project, we are working to control our energy usage at the micro-local level, our own home. At the regional, national, and international level, there are many exciting and bold efforts to reduce GHG emissions by transforming the way electricity is produced. In Germany, this process is called Energiewende, or the energy transition.  According to a recent New York Times article, Ernergiewende amounts to a dramatic shift […]

1,000 Square Feet of Green

1,000 Square Feet of Green

The Solar Decathlon was an inspiring collection of 19 net-zero homes designed by teams of university students, on display in September 2013 at Great Park Irvine. The next event is scheduled for 2015, and I would wholeheartedly recommend taking family and friends for inspiration on how to build houses today. It is amazing what 1,000 square feet can do. These teams of students made 1,000 square feet into comfortable 2-bedroom […]