HILLSBORO, Ore. — The owners of the Green Idea House — Southern California’s first net-zero-energy, zero-combustion home — hosted a public dedication ceremony at the Hermosa Beach residence. The home is a 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, and a number of energy-efficiency and sustainable climate-control technologies, the 2,100-square-foot, all-electric house is designed to generate more green energy than it consumes on an annual basis and burn 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. According to the Fortunatos, 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. In addition, the 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.
“Our objective with the Green Idea House was to build community around the idea that anyone can and should build with energy efficiency and sustainability in mind,” Robert Fortunato said. “We used American-made SolarWorld solar panels because their quality and reliability took us furthest in meeting our power-production and environmental goals.”
The project received the 2012 Green Leadership Award from Los Angeles County, 2012 Environmental Leadership SEED Award, and Build It Green’s Green Point Rated Builder of the Year Award.
“The Green Idea House is an inspiration for many things that individuals, families, contractors, and homebuilders can do to cut energy consumption, curb carbon emissions, and boost environmental sustainability,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas.
For more information, visit www.solarworld-usa.com.
Publication date: 4/22/2013