There have been several presenters who have made the statement “energy independence begins at home” and it really got me thinking. Right now, I heat my house with two (yes,… 2) forced air natural gas furnaces. Additionally, my hot water heater, my dryer, and my stove are all gas. We have electric for just about everything else.
In checking around, it seems that many of the net-zero homes being built have a combination of technologies and while they are still connected to the gird, they often get money from the electric company instead of the other way around. This includes a 110 year old folk Victorian home located in a downtown Ann Arbor historic district that has solar panels and geothermal.
While investigating the prices, they do not need to be cost competitive in this market for people within moderately urban areas, but the idea of never having to send another check to the gas or electric company is intriguing.
Do you use any source of alternative energy at your house? How do you like it? Do you feel that the long term economic investment is worth it?
Also, there without question is government subsidies of many of these companies. What would happen if the government funded programs to bring existing and new homes to net zero instead of spending it on regular utility companies?