Who says that a home with cutting-edge energy efficiency has to look like an ultra-modern pod? This recently completed Wisconsin home packs so much energy tech that it makes money by selling electricity back to the grid, and it still keeps a low neighborhood profile.
Neumann Developments, the creators of the home, state the following as the goal of the project:
“Constructing an economically viable mainstream home that will produce more energy than it consumes – allowing for a dramatic reduction in greenhouse emissions and dependency on foreign oil.”
Two solar arrays are the heart of the property’s electricity generation. A Wattsun solar tracking array in the back yard provides 4,600 kWh of electricity annually, which is dedicated to charging an electric vehicle. Another rooftop photovoltaic setup provides 14,700 kWh yearly, which is much more than the home requires. Surplus power is sold back to the municipal grid for a substantial profit – in July, the home made $408.16 from the local energy utility.
Further energy efficiency comes from the geothermal heating/cooling system in the basement. Glycol fluid circulates through tubing buried below the foundation where the temperature is a year-round 54 degrees. The heat-exchange system provides all necessary summertime cooling, and eases heat production in the winter.
Energy Star appliances and top-notch insulation round out the home’s energy efficiency. And although the specialized solar and geothermal gear did add a substantial amount to construction expenses, the cost of the upgrades was cut in half by rebates and tax credits.
For more information, visit the Neumann Developments website.