Terraform Earth



DIY Home Energy

Quest, a science program that airs on KQED public television in San Francisco, recently ran a program featuring three Bay Area individuals whose homes make extensive use of alternative energy. Here is a summary. Chris Beaudouin, a resident of the Castro district, at the recommendation of California’s Department of the Environment, contacted Blue Green Pacific, the wind generation start-up company of another San Francisco resident, Todd Pelman, who is a marine and energy engineer. Soon to be on top of Chris’s garage (only one has been installed), looking as he describes it like two pieces of sculpture, will be two vertical wind turbines. He is anticipating that his experiment with micro-wind generation will reduce his energy bill 20-30%. The target price for one of the systems is $5000 dollars. Pelman estimates the payback period to be 8-10 years. Gavin Newsom, recently encouraged home owners to experiment with wind energy.

The second home featured is the home of Lisa and Michael Rubenstein, a 6,000 sf single level home in Hillsborough. Despite its size, the average monthly energy bill is $8. The Rubensteins wanted their dream home to be as sustainable as possible and so invested in a geothermal system as well as PV cells. The home is 41 percent more efficient than state Build It Green Standards. (The home was built before a residential LEED program was in place.) Other eco-friendly measures include: graywater recycling, reclaimed wood floor, insulation made from recycled denim, dual flush toilets, and fly-ash concrete. 

The third home was the remodeled Victorian home of Dixon Beatty and Stephanie Parrot. They remodeled the home to use solar thermal energy to provide hot water and heat to their house and photovoltaic cells to meet most of their electricity needs.

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Comments

  1. * lisetrise says:

    Green building in action – this is great stuff. It’s one thing to hear about green building – but it’s altogether another to have lived it and have the energy bills to prove the drastic difference in energy consumption.

    And that saves energy and money!

    Some people worry that they could never afford a geothermal or solar cell system – but what about reclaimed wood floors?

    Also, pre-planning a green home can save one a substantial amount of money. For example, siting a home to take advantage of free passive solar and passive cooling breezes can make a huge difference. Energy efficient home design is a very wise idea.

    Great post!

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  2. * terraformearth says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the comment and for the links to more Green Building information.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 4 months ago


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