Sing It, Sistuh! Off Grid Net Zero Passive Solar WORKS, Is A GOOD Thang.
Came across an article this week that highlights what many face in really pushing the green technology envelope: appraisers that don't understand green building is better:
Green homes face a red light: Ignorant banks.
From CNN's Money:
(In our case off grid hurt us when inquiring
about loans for our own prefab house kit!)
Appraisers were supposed to be appraising green in 1996! With green / energy efficient standards in building codes now, banks / appraisers have to get on it.
Why can't valuators break out of what is past, and recognize what is better?!?
What a weird industry - can you imagine if the technology industry had that mindset - only value what's been done?
off grid net zero prefab green home for this reason. It's not the prefab house kit they don't understand (well, ok, often they don't understand but that's not what scares them since that part is still considered a real building)... it's the off grid thinking they shy from.
Specifically, the completely off grid solar energy systems, and the fact we are using a composting toilet / rainwater collection. It's not just the appraisers, it's local code with which I struggle: with our black water separated, it does not make sense to have a traditional septic field, yet code requires it.
Shouldn't municipalities / banks be giving us credits for not draining resources?!?
So, instead of taking out a traditional construction loan, we either save up and pay cash, (which is more frugally green anyway) or have been using our equity line (which we don't ever use) for large purchases so that we are not hampered by outdated thinking.
We have enjoyed this pay-as-you-go journey, but are also considering just finishing the darned thing so we can spend the next winter with friends for days, weeks in the prefab house kit, comfortably.
Handsome Husband has been considering this as well:
"I found the solution!
We purchase a grid-tie system with battery back up. During the week it charges the batteries, then feeds excess power into the grid. When we arrive at the prefab house kit we go off-grid by flipping off the grid supply breaker.
So we are both off-grid and grid-tied (at our choice).
Here's what Southern Electrical Coop has to say,
and the code they refer to:
§ 56-594. Net energy metering provisions.
A. The Commission shall establish by regulation a program, to begin no later than July 1, 2000, that affords eligible customer-generators the opportunity to participate in net energy metering. The regulations may include, but need not be limited to, requirements for (i) retail sellers; (ii) owners and/or operators of distribution or transmission facilities; (iii) providers of default service; (iv) eligible customer-generators; or (v) any combination of the foregoing, as the Commission determines will facilitate the provision of net energy metering, provided that the Commission determines that such requirements do not adversely affect the public interest.
"Eligible customer-generator" means a customer that owns and operates, or contracts with other persons to own, operate, or both, an electrical generating facility that (i) has a capacity of not more than 10 kilowatts for residential customers and 500 kilowatts for nonresidential customers unless a utility elects a higher capacity limit for such a facility; (ii) uses as its total source of fuel renewable energy, as defined in § 56-576; (iii) is located on the customer's premises and is connected to the customer's wiring on the customer's side of its interconnection with the distributor; (iv) is interconnected and operated in parallel with an electric company's transmission and distribution facilities; and (v) is intended primarily to offset all or part of the customer's own electricity requirements.
"Net energy metering" means measuring the difference, over the net metering period, between (i) electricity supplied to an eligible customer-generator from the electric grid and (ii) the electricity generated and fed back to the electric grid by the eligible customer-generator.
C. The Commission's regulations shall ensure that the metering equipment installed for net metering shall be capable of measuring the flow of electricity in two directions, and shall allocate fairly the cost of such equipment and any necessary interconnection. An eligible customer-generator's electrical generating system shall meet all applicable safety and performance standards established by the National Electrical Code, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and accredited testing laboratories such as Underwriters Laboratories. Beyond the requirements set forth in this section, an eligible customer-generator whose electrical generating system meets those standards and rules shall bear the reasonable cost, if any, as determined by the Commission, to (i) install additional controls, (ii) perform or pay for additional tests, or (iii) purchase additional liability insurance.
D. The Commission shall establish minimum requirements for contracts to be entered into by the parties to net metering arrangements. Such requirements shall protect the customer-generator against discrimination by virtue of its status as a customer-generator, and permit customers that are served on time-of-use tariffs that have electricity supply demand charges contained within the electricity supply portion of the time-of-use tariffs to participate as an eligible customer-generator. Notwithstanding the cost allocation provisions of subsection C, eligible customer-generators served on demand charge-based time-of-use tariffs shall bear the incremental metering costs required to net meter such customers.
E. If electricity generated by an eligible customer-generator over the net metering period exceeds the electricity consumed by the customer-generator, the customer-generator shall be compensated for the excess electricity if the entity contracting to receive such electric energy and the customer-generator enter into a power purchase agreement for such excess electricity. Upon the written request of the customer-generator, the supplier that serves the eligible customer-generator shall enter into a power purchase agreement with the requesting eligible customer-generator that is consistent with the minimum requirements for contracts established by the Commission pursuant to subsection D. The power purchase agreement shall obligate the supplier to purchase such excess electricity at the rate that is provided for such purchases in a net metering standard contract or tariff approved by the Commission, unless the parties agree to a higher rate. The eligible customer-generator owns the renewable energy certificates associated with its electrical generating facility, however, at the time that the eligible customer-generator enters into a power purchase agreement with its supplier, the customer-generator shall have a one-time option to sell the renewable energy certificates associated with such electrical generating facility to its supplier and be compensated at an amount that is established by the Commission to reflect the value of such renewable energy certificates. Nothing in this section shall prevent the eligible customer-generator and the supplier from voluntarily entering into an agreement for the sale and purchase of excess electricity or renewable energy certificates at mutually-agreed upon prices if the eligible customer-generator does not exercise its option to sell its renewable energy certificates to its supplier at Commission-approved prices at the time that the eligible customer-generator enters into a power purchase agreement with its supplier. All costs incurred by the supplier to purchase excess electricity and renewable energy certificates from eligible customer-generators shall be recoverable through its Renewable Energy
(1999, c. 411; 2004, c. 827; 2006, c. 470; 2007, cc. 877, 888, 933; 2009, c. 804.)
*Phew.* That was some mumbo jumbo! My poor little pink-haired brain is spinnin'!
Good thang I've got a Handsome Husband with an MBA and all these architects to explain this to me!
In my mind I am not convinced this is the best solution - it seems wasteful to hook up to the grid to then just turn it off when we're at the prefab house kit... HOWEVER Handsome Husband has a point: IF we tie to the grid when we're not there, that eliminates our need for large battery banks...
(I consider the added closet space I could then take over... you might have noticed I am a vintage pack rat... Hmmmmmm...)
Oh. Wait. What's today?!?
Copeland: SWING. IT. SISTER.
The Strumpet With The Trumpet!
I will sing my heart out over this green building technology colliding with outdated codes and hesitant appraisers. Get on it, people.
The cocktail outfit I have had, as usual, for ages. I believe it came from Fan Thrift in the nineties for about five bucks. The hat, from the St. Catherine's theater sale, for about $3, as well as the gloves, about $1.
The silver trumpet? Handsome Husband's, from the 1920s. Who makes a frickin' silver trumpet, I want to know... Stuff like silver trumpets are probably what caused The Great Depression! And no, it's not shiny, do I look like I have time to polish?
But I'll certainly toot the green building / better technology horn, honeychile...
P.s. Note to Handsome Husband: I noticed you voted for that floozie Amy last week.
You do this week and you might find your beloved trumpet has been PAWNED for solar systems.
Amy: Copeland is calling this, "The Stewardess" or "The Flunked-Out Flight Attendant"
But I say, "If It Ain't Broke..."
Perhaps it's because I realized in horror this morning I'd already used my green hat, so I couldn't do a St. Patricks day entry today. Perhaps it's because I changed outfits yet again after getting dressed only to realize I couldn't find the hat I wanted. Or perhaps it's because I won by a landslide last week and I'm looking to subconciously alter your voting practices by using a similar color scheme this week.
Definitely not that last one, just ignore that.
But either way I find myself back in red, white and blue this week. The dress is a lovely vintage wrap dress picked up sometime in highschool, so probably at the Va Beach CHKD thrift store. Ridiculously comfortable as wrap dresses tend to be. The jaunty scarf has been with me so long I no longer remeber it's origins. Vintage red leather fur lined gloves were a gift from a friend, red tank top from Target and red patent heels and the wide red belt were both picked up from the Richmond Salvation Army for $4.
The Hat is either Coast Guard or Navy vintage uniform issue. I cannot recall which one, but the lovely ladies behind the desk at the antique store were quite sure of one of the two. At any rate, I picked it up for $6. All in all a neat little funky hat. It's missing it's little emblem-y thing that's supposed to go on the front, and I'm currently hunting down appropriate substitutes for the local. A brooch or earring would fit right in the pinhole there, but seemed to frilly for this structured bit of history.
Vote for me. Because you're feeling sleeeeepy.... very sleeeeepy... or perhaps patriotic.
I'll take what I can get.