Anything Goes Politics, life, gadgets, people... gobbledygook.

"Hyper-Watters?" :Zero Energy Homes

  #1  
Old 08-08-2005, 08:23 AM
Delta Flyer's Avatar
Banned
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lewisville (Dallas), Texas
Posts: 3,155
Talking "Hyper-Watters?" :Zero Energy Homes

Newsweek article on Zero Energy Homes. The utility bills are not always zero, but it's still considerably less than the neighbors....
 
  #2  
Old 08-08-2005, 11:31 AM
Romir's Avatar
Active Enthusiast
Join Date: May 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 72
Default Re: "Hyper-Watters?" :Zero Energy Homes

The ROI for solar panels isn't bad at all. It's about as practical of an 'investment' that can be made there days. In the last 6 months, the ebay price per watt of 25-watt panels has gone from the low $3s to the mid $4s.

Some interesting links:
http://www.otherpower.com/
http://www.homepower.com/
http://www.backwoodssolar.com/
http://www.oasismontana.com/PV_index.html

 
  #3  
Old 08-08-2005, 12:21 PM
Enthusiast
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: El Segundo, CA (LAX)
Posts: 41
Default Re: "Hyper-Watters?" :Zero Energy Homes

I used to chuckle at the lengths the hypermilers would go to squeeze out another mpg, but realized how bad I was about squeezing out every last bit of unneeded kilowatt usage to match my solar panel output. Drove my family nuts. Following them to turn off lights. Inventorying the draw of every electrical device in the house. Putting the computer and cable modem on a switch to cut power at night. Flourescents everywhere. LED Christmas lights. Kids off to college...
 
  #4  
Old 08-08-2005, 03:16 PM
Stevo12886's Avatar
Ridiculously Active Enthusiast
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Gainesville, GA
Posts: 808
Default Re: "Hyper-Watters?" :Zero Energy Homes

I've read of these before, some as far as i understand actually generate revenue for the owners selling power to the power companies
 
  #5  
Old 08-08-2005, 07:12 PM
Ridiculously Active Enthusiast
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Severna Park, MD
Posts: 1,089
Default Re: "Hyper-Watters?" :Zero Energy Homes

My neighbor laughed when I went for R19 walls, R45 attic, and SEER12 heatpump when the houses were being built in 1998 (standard in MD was R11, R30, SEER10). He laughed when I siliconed the ductwork and outside wall penetrations, then encased the ducts in R2 foam, blanketed the water heater and put in the programmable tstat ($$$ for a heatpump variant). He almost fell over when I put in fluorescents for the lights that are on a lot.

I laugh every month when he yells at his family about the $150 electric bill. My bill is $90/mo over a year. (avg 40KWh/day over a year; 30KWh for non-heat/cooling)

Same houses (2000sqft colonial w/ walkup finished basement), same # of kids (2), same ages (elementary school).

As the kids get older, each little thing I've done has so far offset the increased usage inherent with a growing family. I'm out of easy options...next step is geothermal heat pump & hot water and then solar electric w/ a big sunroom for passive climate control.

Electric is only ~4.5 cents/KWh here, hard to recoup a $20K solar investment in MD unless you go hardcore.
 
  #6  
Old 08-08-2005, 07:43 PM
Schwa's Avatar
Ridiculously Active Enthusiast
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Coquitlam, B.C.
Posts: 1,045
Default Re: "Hyper-Watters?" :Zero Energy Homes

Originally Posted by gonavy
Electric is only ~4.5 cents/KWh here, hard to recoup a $20K solar investment in MD unless you go hardcore.
I find it a bit strange, how we are happy to throw $20k+ down on a new car (or 2 or 3 cars) that gets no return, yet a $20k solar setup is only considered worthy if it's going to outperform coal or natural gas. I know it's a perfectly normal reaction to spending that kind of money, but people throw that kind of money away on cars all the time. Hopefully soon we'll start to realize that the "cheap" sources of energy have expensive hidden costs.
 
  #7  
Old 08-08-2005, 07:47 PM
ray moore's Avatar
Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 6
Default Re: "Hyper-Watters?" :Zero Energy Homes

Somehow the math doesn't work out. 40 KWH x 30 = 1200 KWh per month times 4.5 cents equals 54.00 per month.

Building a net zero energy home is not that easy. Mine is capable if the numbers on solar power made sense. I have over 1000 square feet of south facing roof. I am in a southern climate with 5.5 hours of average daily usable sunlight. My 4200 sq ft home used 12000 KWH in the last 12 months. Peak usage was 1345 KWH in July. This would work out to a net zero energy home if I was willing to invest the 45k dollars for a system but the financed and amortized cost of the energy would be over 30 cents per KWh. I currently pay 8.5 cents per KWh. I'm hoping to see nanotechnology manufacturing drastically reduce the price in the next eight years. Panels for the house and more panels for the fully electric car that I yearn for.
 
  #8  
Old 08-09-2005, 04:08 AM
Ridiculously Active Enthusiast
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Severna Park, MD
Posts: 1,089
Default Re: "Hyper-Watters?" :Zero Energy Homes

Originally Posted by Schwa
I find it a bit strange, how we are happy to throw $20k+ down on a new car (or 2 or 3 cars) that gets no return, yet a $20k solar setup is only considered worthy if it's going to outperform coal or natural gas. I know it's a perfectly normal reaction to spending that kind of money, but people throw that kind of money away on cars all the time. Hopefully soon we'll start to realize that the "cheap" sources of energy have expensive hidden costs.
I think part of the thinking is that you need to get a car every now and then, so that~$20k cost is there no matter what- the hybrid premium is marginal on top of that, whereas adding solar is definitely a discretionary expenditure for most of us. I HAD to get another car, it might as well be efficient. I do not NEED to get another power source for my house...yet.

...call my initial hesitance 'social conditioning'? I still will do the solar thing at some point. I bought my hybrid not for the savings, but to promote technology that makes sense and in the long run can only help. Same for solar, geothermal, whathaveya.

WRT the math: 4.5 cents is the generation cost, excluding transmission. I should have added that in, which adds 2.5 cents more. Throw in a few 'fixed' fees on top of that. MD is beginning the transition to a comeptitive power market and BGE maintains all transmission, so that is broken out as a separate cost.
 
  #9  
Old 08-14-2005, 04:24 PM
jahwerx's Avatar
Keepin it hyper yo
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Gaia
Posts: 99
Default Re: "Hyper-Watters?" :Zero Energy Homes

NJ pretty much paid for my grid tied 7.5 KWatt PV system.

2 months in the spring with $2 electric bills!

In the middle of this repressive summer with the room AC's on, we maxed out at $35 / month. That includes an electric range/oven as well (oil and wood heat in the winter - I get all my wood for free too).

I'm certainly not getting all the latest energy saving devices (some of our appliances are probably 25 years old), but I'll certianly get high efficiency ones when the timecomes.

Anyone in NJ or CA should JUMP on the state sponsored programs!
 
  #10  
Old 08-15-2005, 08:47 AM
Pretty Darn Active Enthusiast
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: League City, Texas
Posts: 387
Default Re: "Hyper-Watters?" :Zero Energy Homes

Originally Posted by Schwa
I find it a bit strange, how we are happy to throw $20k+ down on a new car (or 2 or 3 cars) that gets no return, yet a $20k solar setup is only considered worthy if it's going to outperform coal or natural gas. I know it's a perfectly normal reaction to spending that kind of money, but people throw that kind of money away on cars all the time. Hopefully soon we'll start to realize that the "cheap" sources of energy have expensive hidden costs.
Never thought about it in that way! Good Idea and thanks.Kevin
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: "Hyper-Watters?" :Zero Energy Homes


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.