Sustainable Design for the 21st Century


by Brent Sauser

July 2015 marks the three year anniversary for  In that time we have achieved close to 2.4 million site “hits” and over 15,000 subscribers.  Over 225 NetZeroMax articles reside throughout the internet covering the Money clip art 4full range of renewable energy subjects.  Our singular focus has been the promotion of renewable products, systems, and methods that not only benefit the community and environment, but saves you moneySAVING ENERGY SAVES MONEY!

Since July 2012 my wife and I have prepared a plan to retrofit our humble, 3-bedroom, Orlando, Florida home to come as close to Net Zero as possible.  Our wood framed home was built in 1992 when energy conservation was not a priority.  We moved into the house in March of 2004, three months BEFORE hurricane Charley (but that’s another story!).  We have added:

  • Energy Star Roof (asphalt shingle)
  • SEER 14 Heat Pump
  • LED and CFL lighting
  • Daylighting (Solatube in living room)
  • Energy Star appliances and devices
  • Solar powered attic exhaust fan
  •  NEST thermostat
  • GE GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater

Take a close look at this comparison of power usage from our most recent power bill to this time last year: 

July 2015-003

To summarize:   From the billing period of July 9, 2015 as compared to July 9, 2014 we have the following results:

  •  Reduction of 16 kWh per day
  •  Savings of $2.12 per day
  •  469 Less kWh used
  •  Total kWh consumed= 846 versus 1,315 kWh same time last year
  •  Total savings = $73.69

clipart 23We attribute our increased savings to the recently installed NEST thermostat (June 9, 2015) and the GE GeoSpring Hybrid water heater (July 2, 2015).  Our overall goal is to consume less than 900 kWh per month.  We are in the process of having a 7.5 kW solar array installed on our roof.  We hope to generate more than 900 kWh of power per month (which remains to be seen).  However, if so, we can achieve Net Zero in this typical suburban three-bedroom tract home.   Isn’t this worth checking out for yourself?

Nest 02geospring_hero_ecorebate_featured

I will continue to track our energy savings and report our solar renewable power generation from time to time.  Suffice it to say . . . . Saving energy is saving us money and in the times we are living every penny counts! 

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