A Beacon for the Future

A Beacon for the Future
"We hope the reinvention of our 100-year-old waterfront home as a model of green building will educate and inspire both the building industry and the general public.” - Homeowners Dave and Anna Porter (rendering by Craig Thorpe).

Friday, April 19, 2013


We get asked every now and then the question about our energy usage.  Sometimes we're asked if we pay nothing since we're so energy efficient and have solar and geothermal.  I wish the answer was "no."  But it's not.  The truth is that even though we're very energy efficient as defined by ENERGY STAR (An Efficient Home Envelope, with effective levels of wall, floor and attic insulation properly installed, comprehensive air barrier details, and high-performance windows; Efficient Air Distribution, where ducts are installed with minimum air leakage and are effectively insulated; Efficient Equipment for heating, cooling, and water heating;Efficient Lighting, including fixtures that earn the ENERGY STAR®; and Efficient Appliances, including ENERGY STAR® qualified dishwashers, refrigerators, and clothes washers) we still have our energy sins: a hot tub, 2 full-sized refrigerators and 2 beverage-sized ones (only one of which is energy efficient), an offsite septic that requires an electric pump to move waste uphill 2 blocks.  But these are just the obvious ones. There are plenty of other places where we all waste energy without giving it a second thought.  Here's a helpful infographic that spells it out:

home appliances waste electricity
Source: Apartment Guide – Discover ways to stop wasting energy in your college apartment

See what I mean?  Look around your own house for places where you're spending unnecessary energy.  ENERGY STAR has a helpful tool to get you started on your own investigation.  Good luck!