Steve Steven’s Net Zero Energy Home in South Golden
You’ll be amazed at how super-insulated and super-efficient this 1979 frame and brick ranch has become under the ownership of Steve Stevens. It (and his Tesla and indoor citrus farm) are powered entirely from the Sun, This includes his solar panels, daylighting and passive solar heating. Further, the sun grows a lot of Steve’s food.
Additionally, Steve generates net 9,600 kWH of excess electricity. This surplus is input into the electric grid to power neighbors’ homes and cut the neighborhood energy demand/ carbon footprint. This makes the Home / Car / Greenhouse “Carbon Negative” to the tune of ~7 tons annually. Steve had Xcel Energy disconnect his natural gas service, and he uses no other combustion (like fireplaces).
1) Steve has addressed WATER management seriously:
a) Capturing stormwater from the front street with a curb cut into his Yard to water his gardens, lawn, and trees;
b) Capturing stormwater from the roof into 3 cistern tanks of 275 gallons each.
c) All plumbing is low flow… toilets, sinks and showers.
2) Steve’s walls are augmented to R-50, R-60 and even R-104 (22 inches thick)
and his ceilings are filled to the rafters with Cellulose (up to R-150).
Also, all windows are triple and quad glazed from Alpen to get up to effective R-12
levels. These actions provide maximal all-season comfort and mnimize energy usage.
3) Steve studied the specifications of appliances to get the best:
a) The three mini splits, each powered by their own heat-pumps, provide the minimal residual heating and cooling and have SEER values of 33 and 42. They also have HSPF values of 15. This means that they use 1/3 to 1/4 the energy of typical heat pumps. Also, the house is heated from outside air very well even on a minus 20 degree F winter night. Further, resilience is provided by having each heat pump have its own compressor; A single heat pump’s failure would still leaves the home comfortably conditioned. Steve advises: that specification matter — do read and understand them! Do not just get what a vendor wants to sell! And science matters – Specifications reflect science!
From Steve: “It has been my 20 year project to slowly transform the 1979 home from an approximate 15 ton annual carbon footprint to a Negative 15 ton carbon footprint… while being More Comfortable in all weather conditions.”