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Thread: Building homes that make more power than they take

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    Building homes that make more power than they take

    Building homes that make more power than they take




    NEW PALTZ, N.Y. (AP) -- Homes being built in this Hudson Valley cul-de-sac offer prospective buyers wooded lots, pretty views and oh yes the promise of thumbing your nose at the power utility.


    These "zero-net energy" homes will feature thick walls, solar panels and geothermal heating and cooling systems, meaning families should be able to generate more energy over a year than they consume. These homes under construction 70 miles north of New York City have costly green features. But the builders believe they are in tune with consumers increasingly concerned about the environment and fuel costs.



    If you had the money, would you buy a smaller house that's built to be as "energy independent" as the ones described above, or would you opt for a bigger "conventional" house like the ones most of us have grown up in?




    I would definitely go with smaller and energy independent.


    I love the sound of what's described in the article.

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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    Building homes that make more power than they take






    If you had the money, would you buy a smaller house that's built to be as "energy independent" as the ones described above, or would you opt for a bigger "conventional" house like the ones most of us have grown up in?



    I would definitely go with smaller and energy independent.

    I love the sound of what's described in the article.


    I most definitely would. I think people who buy larger homes than they need are silly. McMansions are tough to heat and cool efficiently, expensive to heat and cool efficiently, a lot of work to keep clean, and expensive to maintain. Give me my little house any time.
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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    Big houses are just more to clean. Besides, all I care about is my garage. There's a corvette in it.
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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    Home I'm building has 90% south facing windows and on a sunny day in the dead of winter with below freezing temps I can let the fire go out and actually have to open windows to cool things off. Also I went ape on insulation and caulking. Solar panels provide the bulk of our elec and our water system is gravity fed, no deep well pumps. I'm not a greenie though, just trying to live cheap and efficient.

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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    I think the government needs to stop spending billions on Solyndra type fiascos and put that money into building super efficient modular housing for poor people addressing both the the effects of energy cost on those who cannot afford it and creating market-wide demand for the systems that would make it a more "scalable" investment for businesses to pursue as the jargon goes.

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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    You can still have a bigger place and be energy indepenent. Geothermal can be used for just about anysize house. Instead of just solar, you can go with solar and small wind turbine (depending on your location).

    I always thought that this should be the direction green energy should be focused. Wind and Solar will never produce enough to take over the grid. Its all still too pricey, $29k for that solar power system? Its only affordable because its heavily subsidized.

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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    I guess it works for people who work ins small towns, getting one of these within commuting difference of a large city would cost you a fairly large fortune.

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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    You don't have to go smaller to be energy independent and you also don't have to spend an arm and a leg but its not cheap. It took me a few years but I have no utility tie in at my second home, its completely solar powered and there is a propane generator for emergencies if the doesn't provide. Yes I have to buy some propane to use that but propane doesn't go bad nearly as fast as gas or diesel and I haven't bought any in about 18 months now. I certainly won't need it in the summer - winter is the only time it might be needed and fact is I could go without the electricity and burn wood I harvest for heat if needed.

    I would not mind seeing states / communities where solar power is highest ranked requiring home builders to situate homes so they have a 180 degree azimuth to the sun so they could take best advantage of solar power. They also need to insure that roof line has no shade impacts - in California right now people that have that situation in some utility areas can actually save money because the utilities charge so much for electricty - solar is actually cheaper. That's sad - commentary on the cost of power by the way.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    Building homes that make more power than they take









    If you had the money, would you buy a smaller house that's built to be as "energy independent" as the ones described above, or would you opt for a bigger "conventional" house like the ones most of us have grown up in?




    I would definitely go with smaller and energy independent.


    I love the sound of what's described in the article.

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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishstyx View Post
    You can still have a bigger place and be energy indepenent. Geothermal can be used for just about anysize house. Instead of just solar, you can go with solar and small wind turbine (depending on your location).

    I always thought that this should be the direction green energy should be focused. Wind and Solar will never produce enough to take over the grid. Its all still too pricey, $29k for that solar power system? Its only affordable because its heavily subsidized.
    I'm off grid with solar but I use propane for refrigeration and our stove in summer. In winter we use a wood cook stove so even that is off grid. It can be done.

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    Re: Building homes that make more power than they take

    Quote Originally Posted by CalGun View Post
    You don't have to go smaller to be energy independent and you also don't have to spend an arm and a leg but its not cheap. It took me a few years but I have no utility tie in at my second home, its completely solar powered and there is a propane generator for emergencies if the doesn't provide. Yes I have to buy some propane to use that but propane doesn't go bad nearly as fast as gas or diesel and I haven't bought any in about 18 months now. I certainly won't need it in the summer - winter is the only time it might be needed and fact is I could go without the electricity and burn wood I harvest for heat if needed.

    I would not mind seeing states / communities where solar power is highest ranked requiring home builders to situate homes so they have a 180 degree azimuth to the sun so they could take best advantage of solar power. They also need to insure that roof line has no shade impacts - in California right now people that have that situation in some utility areas can actually save money because the utilities charge so much for electricty - solar is actually cheaper. That's sad - commentary on the cost of power by the way.
    The problem is not all streets run east west and it is difficult to orient a house to face the sun on a north south axis street.

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