Officially, today, 29th at 1600 EDT, our home was free of using fossil fuel energy.
We now have:
- A 10 kW nameplate SunPower/RevoluSun solar array on our roof, which generated 49 kWh today, and gives remarkable, over-the-top performance despite there being tree shading and a high western horizon. And to my continuing surprise, that’s because our Massachusetts skies often have bright clouds floating by.
- 3 Fujitsu air heat pump “ductless minisplit” systems for heating and cooling, all electric.
- A General Electric GeoSpring 50 gallon air heat pump hot water heater, all electric.
- Signing with MassEnergy/New England Wind for all energy we use above and beyond what we generate, that is, above what we store and get back
We do have our oil fed furnace on emergency standby for hot water and heat, and electricity backed up by a propane generator, which is far from enough to power the house. We presume we won’t have to rely upon these for any extended duration. Alas, with the current hookup, consistent with Massachusetts regulations and those of Eversource, if the grid goes down, so does our solar generation. Who knows?
While it would be a bad thing for Massachusetts, if Beacon Hill decides to stab solar energy in the back, we’ll eventually move to another model, where we are more independent of all of it, and, under that model, our solar will not go down when the grid does. The only reasons we do not have it configured that way now are:
(a) we’d like to share our spare electrons with our neighbors,
(b) we are not eligible for SRECs if we do configure it that way, and
(c) energy storage options are not financially sensible at present, even if they will be in 5 years or so.
So, it’s …
fossil fuel freedom day
At least for the house. Now, about those cars ….
By the way, if you want to watch our panels power their way through the summer and years, bookmark and follow this link. And note all the others in the world who are doing the same.
By the way, I forgot to mention that we have an electric lawn mower, powered by a battery, and have had one for a few years. We purchased a second battery because, while the one battery generally does the entire yard, once in a while the lawn is lush enough to demand a bit extra energy.
We are, of course, also moving away from a traditional lawn. We of course put no fertilizer on it and certainly no weed or insect killer. We’re not supposed to, as we are close to wetlands. Our neighbors aren’t supposed to do that either, but we fear (and have evidence that) some of them do anyway.
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Just to clarify – that is nine units total, or 1 unit per 200 ft2?
It’s six “heads”, and three external units. So if you want to count “heads”, which is not terribly meaningful in my opinion, it’s 300 square feet per “head”. I say it’s not meaningful, because the “heads” are not working components, in the sense that they are just fans. The working units are the three devices outside.
Home is 1800 square feet. Cost was $25,000 with some tax advantages for efficiency (“Mass Save Heat Loan Program”, in cooperation with NSTAR/Eversource). They are Fujitsu ductless minisplits (“inverters”), under the brand name of “Halcyon”. We have three outside units, and six units within the split level home, 5 of them wall mounted, one mounted in the ceiling.
Like your blog. and your recent comments at crocks. 🙂
Was wondering if you might share figures on your heat pumps? How much did they cost incl. install, and what is the square footage of your home? I am trying to get a feel about how we are going to solve the home/business heating conundrum in future. Thanks!
Actually, it’s three units, of differing sizes, one with two “heads”, one with three “heads”, and one with one “head”. The two mult-head units are comparably sized. There’s a third unit which controls a single room. So, I’d say it’s more like two of the units do 700 square feet apiece, and one does 400 square feet. In any case, it’s about $14/square foot.
Got it – thanks! 🙂