Sign up now for Needham Adult Education’s upcoming program on a Zero Net Energy Home.

On March 15, 7-8:30 pm, in Needham High School, Room 206, Needham Adult Education invites you to learn about the design and construction of a zero net energy home built in Westwood three years ago. Owner/designer/builder Peter Kane will present a slide show illustrating the important design considerations, construction details, and the finished home. The presentation will also cover the cost of the construction, how the home has performed over the last three years, what it is like to live in, and what mistakes were made that could be avoided – and answer the question of whether solar energy really works (hint: the electric company owes him money!) Note: a Saturday morning tour of the home, Oct. 17th 10-11 AM, (149 Ellis St. Westwood 02090) is included in the $35 course fee. (View event on Green Needham calendar.)

Here is some additional information about the program and the house from Peter Kane:

  • The house was designed and built from the ground up to take advantage of the sun and to be extremely energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Every effort was made to keep things simple, reliable and maintenance free. So far, everything is working extremely well.
  • There have been at least three occupants each year; however, since the end of this past June there have only been two occupants. In 4.25 years we have generated about 9,100 kWh more electricity than we have consumed. We use electricity for everything – heat backup, hot water backup, clothes dryer, cooking, etc.
  • There is no conventional oil or gas boiler or furnace and no wood stove. The house stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter with very little energy use.
  • The PV system consists of a 5.88kW array of 210W Evergreen Solar panels and a Solectria inverter.
  • The solar thermal system consists of four Heliodyne flat plate collectors, plumbed in a drainback configuration with a 320 gallon storage tank in the basement.
  • The backup water heater is a Stiebel Eltron instant electric unit. Hot water from the tank is distributed to the first floor via radiant floor tubing.
  • I get about $1400/year in SRECS and my last bill from Eversource shows a credit of  $1,046. We pay no oil bill, no gas bill and no electric bill.


Upcoming Needham Adult Education Program: Zero Energy Home
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