Paso Robles house

From Greenlivingpedia, a wiki on green living, building and energy

Revision as of 14:19, 6 September 2008 by Brian Peppers! (Talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

Page Viewing and Editing Disabled

As you may know, Greenlivingpedia has been going slow recently. We are about to fix this, but editing pages must be disabled temporarily to complete this delicate operation.

See for more information.

The Greenlivingpedia Development team

Owners Michael Brown
Location Paso Robles, Califonia
Country United States
Type Sustainable renovation project
Owner Web Site
Owner contact Mike Brown [email protected]

Summary of house features

  • Solar panels, grid interactive. 25 Sanyo 200W panels, 5kW


We bought this 1670 sq ft, single-story house in June 2007 in Paso Robles California, in the heart of the Central Coast wine region. One of the first projects I wanted to complete was the installation of a solar photovoltaic system. You can read more about my thinking about solar power at the first link below. I wrote a program to display the real-time and historic power generation data - go to the first link and click on the big screen shot to launch it.

Since my house roofline runs North-South, we had to go with a ground-mount system. Luckily we had enough room on our 2 acre lot to find the perfect spot. I did the prep work in July 2007, and the system installation was done September 17-26, 2007. After months of planning and a week of installation, we powered up the solar system and my electric meter immediately started running backwards.

Other green living factors we are doing in our lives:

  • My wife is retired and I work from home for IBM, so we have no daily commute, saving on buying gas, wasting time, clogging roads and emitting greenhouse gases
  • We use soybean-derived B-99 biodiesel fuel in my wife's VW turbo-diesel Beetle, getting 49 miles per gallon on the highway
  • We only use compact fluorescent light bulbs, including outdoor spotlights
  • We use an Energy-Star refrigerator and washing machine
  • I installed a tankless electric water heater to remove my dependence from propane and avoid replacing a rusted-out tank every 6-8 years
  • We have ceiling fans in every room
  • The house has excellent wall and attic insulation and has a West-facing overhang, blocking hot afternoon sun
  • Recycling is excellent here. I take all paper, cardboard, plastics and metal to our local recycling center. Drink bottles and cans are recycled and deposit paid back.
  • I declined to get garbage service because we recycle so much. I take the non-recycleables to the landfill once a year or so.
  • I rebuilt the wood burning fireplace venting to bring it up to code and make it safe. I use about 15 pieces of fallen tree wood to heat the house all winter, avoiding use of the existing propane heat system.

External links

Personal tools