Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Susan Shea's Geothermal & Solar House

This residential home was built in 1912 but despite its age, the owners decided to take the giant step of installing geothermal and solar to power their needs. The stucco home is well insulated to reduce the load needed for the geothermal system. The geothermal system installed is a 5 ton closed loop vertical heat exchanger. The house also has a 9kW roof solar PV system.

In addition to the solar and geothermal, the house features rain barrels, energy efficient windows and spray foam wall insulation. This is a great example of a historic home that has successfully implemented energy efficiency and renewable technology.

Winterizing Can Save Energy Dollars

As the days grow shorter and the weather cools, many area residents have begun to think about weatherizing their homes against the even colder weather ahead.

"It's never too late to think about weatherizing your home," said Loup Power District's New Business Supervisor Rick Cheloha. "Loup Power District offers a free energy audit to its residential and commercial customers to help them find ways to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and buildings."

ENERGY STAR, a nationwide energy efficiency program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) offers helpful tips to improve energy efficiency on its Web site at
One of the most economical ways area residents can improve energy efficiency in residential and commercial properties is by properly sealing and insulating the structure.

According to ENERGY STAR, homeowners can potentially save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs, or as much as 10 percent on their total annual energy bill, by improving the sealing and insulation of their home.

Easy-to-find air leaks and drafts are those that can be felt around doors and windows. Air leaks in attics, basements and crawl spaces may require more effort to discover.

Sealing as many of these leaks as possible with caulk, spray foam or weather stripping can have a significant impact on improving comfort and reducing utility bills.

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