Solar Harvest, a Positive Energy Home

Solarharvest

There was a fantastic article in the NY Times on a positive energy home dubbed Solar Harvest.  Solar Harvest generated more electricity in 2006 than what it took from the grid, so Xcel Energy sent the owner a check for $8.45.  Nice!  Solar Harvest was built by Eric Doub and his company, EcoFutures, in Boulder, Colorado for $1.38 million, including land.

[+] Solar Harvest Flickr Album

Solarharvest2

Kitchen

Bedroom


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  • http://www.ZeroEnergy.com Adam Prince

    Before everyone gets too excited about providing more energy to the grid than you can ever use, make sure you can actually recieve a benefit. Most states have net metering rules which allow you to carry forward a credit for any ‘net excess generation’, which is only useful if you actually use it, and often won’t cut you a check.

    Usually net-zero annual energy performance for a client’s situation is the highest standard for which our firm currently aims. (And many clients chose a lower standard which is fine, but the opposite, exceeding net-zero, is not currently practical in most states. The minor variation from zero and check for $8.45 is a beautiful thing). That is a house right on target.

    The energy design our firm completes for a home covers many bases. Adding the requirements dictated by the building envelope, orientation, and location, to the heating, cooling, hot water, appliances, lighting, and small consumer appliances, then including the usage habits of the occupants, yields total annual energy usage (how many loads of laundry, how often will the house be occupied, how many showers, where is the thermostat set, etc). Once you have the forecast of total annual energy usage, then you can size the renewable energy systems appropriately to produce that amount.

    Every home and situation is different. If the owners plan to keep the home for the foreseeable future, then chosing to buy their energy source instead of ‘renting’ it from the local utility companies can be a very smart decision.

    • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

      Adam, thanks for dropping by — you’re the expert in zero energy homes, that’s for sure.

      Hey, have you finished any moder green type stuff recently we can show here on JG? It’s about time to show another one of your cool projects …

  • http://www.zeroenergy.com/ Adam Prince

    Before everyone gets too excited about providing more energy to the grid than you can ever use, make sure you can actually receive a benefit. Most states have net metering rules which allow you to carry forward a credit for any ‘net excess generation’, which is only useful if you actually use it, and often won’t cut you a check.

    Usually net-zero annual energy performance for a client’s situation is the highest standard for which our firm currently aims. (And many clients chose a lower standard which is fine, but the opposite, exceeding net-zero, is not currently practical in most states. The minor variation from zero and check for $8.45 is a beautiful thing). That is a house right on target.

    The energy design our firm completes for a home covers many bases. Adding the requirements dictated by the building envelope, orientation, and location, to the heating, cooling, hot water, appliances, lighting, and small consumer appliances, then including the usage habits of the occupants, yields total annual energy usage (how many loads of laundry, how often will the house be occupied, how many showers, where is the thermostat set, etc). Once you have the forecast of total annual energy usage, then you can size the renewable energy systems appropriately to produce that amount.

    Every home and situation is different. If the owners plan to keep the home for the foreseeable future, then choosing to buy their energy source instead of ‘renting’ it from the local utility companies can be a very smart decision.

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