Going green: Air-tight, energy-efficient home West End

By Ros Runner - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A Henrico County home sets the standard for going green. It may not be in your budget to consider some of the exotic strategies we see in this house, but you might find some helpful hints there, which could conserve energy.

The solar idea house is a first of its kind green home located in western Henrico.

"Right now as we stand here at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, being 100 percent powered by the sun," said Hugh Joyce of James River Air Conditioning.

Nearly every green strategy available has been utilized in the renovation of this home. Foam insulation, top of the line weather sealing, a high efficiency heating and cooling system, energy-efficient appliances, and LED lighting.

Two large tanks collect approximately 40,000 gallons of rain water each year and store it for irrigation.  And the heart of it all is solar panels.

"We generate enough power with our solar system to offset over time everything that we use with the house," Joyce said.

The only way this can be done is with a good foundation of basic green strategies including a quality insulation and weather sealing along with a high efficiency heating and cooling system

"There is no sense in putting in solar and a lot of exotic fancy things if you heat and cool the air and it all leaks right back out," Joyce said.

The solar idea house is closely monitored by a Google power meter which tracks power usage every minute of the day.

For an investment of about $800, you too can monitor the energy being used in your home.

"So you can have that whole daily monitoring function, you know, for a very small investment and then you can start tinkering with the house and really start driving the cost down," he said.

It is important to remember that by focusing on just a few simple green strategies such as changing out light bulbs and purchasing energy efficient appliances, you can see a significant difference in your overall energy savings.

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