April was a busy month here at the Ballard Zero Energy Home. Here’s a quick rundown of news.
Our House Wins Award in National Contest
The designer of our house, Zero-Energy Plans LLC, and the builder, TC Legend Homes, teamed up to win the coveted 2012 National Green Building Award for Concept & Research. The award was presented at a ceremony in Nashville, TN on April 30th, 2012.
The popular eco-news site, Mother Nature Network, made our house the topic of its latest Evergreen Homes column. Reporter Matt Hickman did an excellent job explaining the house’s special features and our efforts to spread the word about net-zero building.
Washington’s Built Green organization, which gave our house a five-star certification, published a case study with some good technical details.
Meter Running Backward
Despite the wet, cold weather we’ve been having, we’ve finally turned the corner on energy usage, and our net meter is consistently running backward. The net meter is the one that measures the amount of electricity we use minus what we produce. After hitting a 2,500 kwh peak near the end of March, the number on the meter has been slowly falling. We’re now at about 1,900 kwh, and we expect to go all the way back down to zero (and maybe, if we’re lucky, into negative territory) by the end of the summer. It’s been really fun to go outside and watch the number tick down on those days when the solar panels are putting out upwards of 6,000 watts.
Green Home Tour
We had a great time opening up our house to about 175 visitors on the Seattle Green Home Tour, which took place April 21-22. People had a ton of great questions. Thankfully, we had a lot of help during the tour from Ted Clifton Jr., Ted Clifton Sr., and Tom Salisbury from Salisbury Woodworking.