Living net zero

Living net zero

It’s safe to say that not many people look forward to paying electricity bills each month. One couple in Deerton took matters into their own hands and built a totally energy efficient home to reduce their carbon footprint, they are now living net zero.  Not only are they living solely off the energy they produce, they are producing enough to share.

Christine says it took about 3 years from conception to completion with a few challenges along the way, but this net zero, energy efficient home is now complete.  She and her husband Sam have not only eliminated the need to feed off of the grid, but actually created a surplus of energy.

“The siding is an insulated vinyl siding that has an R value of 3, whereas typical siding does not have a value to it. The walls were made from structural insulated panel which have an R value of about 24 so all in all the walls have a value of 27. The roof we put 10 inches of icynene so there is about an R 50 in the roof. Since we are generating heat through the floor we wanted to put mass in the floor that holds the heat and then radiates it up into the living space, so we have an inch and a half of lightweight concrete in the floor,” said Sam Simonetta.

The wind turbine is the main reason behind their invisible carbon footprint. It produces 12.5 kilometers of energy, so when it’s really windy it can actually produce more than they need. The house itself was designed with strategically placed windows and doors to make use of as much natural light as possible. Other power saving techniques include a front loading washer, an energy efficient refrigerator and light bulbs, and a low–pressure flushing toilet. But being independent of any energy needs forces Christine and Sam to think ahead and prepare for potential emergencies.

“We have to be down if the grid is down, otherwise you can electrocute a line worker, so we’re down like everyone else when the power goes out. At least we know we can be warm and we can cook on top of this,” said Christine Simonetta, Energy efficient home owner.

Sam even converted their truck into an electric vehicle that takes 6 hours to charge, giving them 70 miles to use at their disposal.

Since moving in, the Simonetta’s have consumed just over 54,000 kilowatts of self generated energy.