USA: The owners of the “Green Idea House” – Southern California’s first net-zero-energy, zero-combustion home – will host a public dedication ceremony at the Hermosa Beach residence on April 6.
The home is a cornerstone case study for Southern California Edison’s Net Zero Energy Initiative, the utility’s program for implementing California Public Utility Commission guidelines that all new residential buildings be net-zero-energy by 2020.
With 6.25 kilowatts of high-performance solar panels from SolarWorld, the largest US solar manufacturer for more than 35 years, and a host of energy-efficiency and sustainable-climate-control technologies, the 2100-square-foot, all-electric house generates more green energy than it consumes on an annual basis and burns no fossil fuels.
Two years ago, property owners Robert and Monica Fortunato and their son Carter set out to affordably retrofit their family home into a net-zero-energy, zero-combustion residence using ordinary building techniques and off-the-shelf technology and at no greater cost than standard construction.
Energy-efficient architectural design, appliances and lighting have enabled the family, which resumed residence in the renovated house in suburban Los Angeles County in March 2012, to consume 75 percent less energy than they did prior to construction, despite adding 700 square feet to the structure.
Moreover, the 26 SolarWorld solar panels on the home’s roof generated about 2,000 kilowatt-hours more electricity than the Fortunatos consumed in the last year, earning the family a several-hundred-dollar credit from Southern California Edison.