Jason Peacock has plans for a solar-powered cluster of compact homes on a plot of land in Wiscasset, northeast of Portland, Maine. The first house is complete — the Souler House — and it’s a 950-square-foot contemporary abode covered with a grid-tied 3.6 kW array. Peacock designed and built the home, and he’s also renting it out on VRBO for anywhere from $700 – $1000 per week, depending on the season.
The Kyocera PV system produces a surplus during the spring, summer, and fall, according to Peacock, and the surplus credit is used during the winter for heat and everything else. The near net-zero energy home is all-electric but supplemented by a high-efficiency wood stove in the living room.
During the first winter, Peacock said he was able to maintain temperatures in the 70s while only burning one cord of wood in the stove.
In addition, this two-bedroom home was built with zero-VOC and formaldehyde-free finishes and materials. Peacock specified products such as Yolo paint, American Clay walls, PaperStone countertops, built-ins made from sunflower board and bamboo ply, a Marathon water heater, and a Venmar HRV. The fiber-cement siding has a rainscreen detail for longevity.
Over time, Peacock plans to build four to six other homes on the same land and expects that all of them will be smaller than 1,000 square feet and powered by the sun.
Credits: Samuel Strickland (#1, 7); Jason Peacock (others).