Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Green Home Award

Greetings! After a nearly three-month hiatus from this blog, I finally decided an update was entirely overdo. First, I'd like to welcome any Dickinson Magazine readers who have stumbled upon this site. Dickinson Magazine, the college's quarterly alumni publication, published a wonderful story on our house in the latest issue. Titled "Green on the Inside," the article gives some insight into how we plan to connect with students via the college's sustainability initiative.

Click image to read Dickinson Magazine article.

The main reason for the blog update is to plug Bridlewood Builders for winning the 2010 Pyramid Award for the Best Green Custom Home of the Year (they also won a second award). The Pyramid Awards are issued by the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Harrisburg; a list of all awards can be found on the 2010 Pyramid Award Winners webpage.

And the winner is...Bridlewood Builders!

It's great to see Bridlewood get some recognition for the wonderful work they did on our home. Plus, since we were so intimately involved in the design and construction of the house, we feel like we won the award too!

Our energy usage statistics have improved dramatically since mid winter. Our actual usage has dropped by about 30% compared to winter, and with all the summer sun our production has increased quite a bit. For the past few months our production is outpacing our usage - as expected - although as I mentioned previously, it's pretty clear we won't be net zero energy on an annual basis. The graph below shows our energy statistics as of July 18, 2011. Actual usage is blue, solar production is red (shown as negative), and net usage is black. The label should read Energy (not Power) in kilowatt-hours and the months run from the 15th to the 15th (since we began on Jan 1, the first "month" is really only half-a-month).

Monthly Energy Statistics

I have much more to say regarding our energy usage and how it compares to national averages. Check back soon and I'll have a detailed update. (I know I've been saying that for a while now, but I really will get to this soon!)


Kevin said...

Fantastic! That doesn't surprise me. Seeing the house, it reminds me of a luxury hybrid - the point is to have a great living experience that happens to be green, not a green experience that you fit in comforts when you can. For me, that's far more likely to inspire sustainable living than trying to convince people to live like monks!

Anonymous said...

David and Virgina,

Thank you for the time you have taken to write in your blog. I have read it in its entirety. I am working on increasing the efficiency of my current home and it is always interesting to see how someone starts with a blank slate.


Shania Fargo said...

Saving energy starts from home, and this ingenuity is exemplary with the present pursuit to conservation of energy. For common home owners out there, they can also maximize energy efficiency by maintaining the energy loss to a minimum, and one way to achieve this is by insulating the house well. When there is great temperature difference between inside and outside of the house, e.g. in winter and summer, heat transfer is great and temperature-controlling devices such as the air conditioner consumes more electricity to keep up with the heat being transferred in or out of the house. But, with good insulation, heat transfer is decreased, and the electricity consumed becomes relatively lower which means less cost of usage.

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