Brett Reilly, like many Americans, was tired of paying high energy bills every month just to keep the lights on and the house warm. That is why he and his team at TAPA Homes came up with the “No Energy Bill Home”. Originally planning on building the house years earlier, the construction was put on hold due to the recession and downturn in the housing market. With State of Delaware and federal incentives toward energy efficient housing, however, the No Energy Bill Home project which broke ground in June of this year was completed in 54 days.
The No Energy Bill Home (NEB) has no propane, gas, or oil but generates all its energy through electricity. The goal of all the NEB homes is to reduce the consumption of energy, but this particular house, which is found in Milford, actually generates energy and creates income for the home owner.
Taking advantage of the natural elements, the NEB house uses the positioning of the house, north to south, to capture and use solar energy most efficiently using a method known as passive solar design, which allows direct sun light into the home to heat in winter while diverting direct sun light in the summer. The solar panels located on the roof are positioned at 180 degrees due South which is at or near the best angle to the sun to achieve optimum panel output. As the house begins to produce more energy than the house uses, the electric meter will actually begin to move backwards. As of now the NEB home electric meter stands at 99608, indicating 392 credit hours which are placed back on the electric grid and sold by Delaware Electric Cooperative to other consumers.
The photovoltaic solar panels will provide more than half the energy needed to operate this home. The remainder of the energy costs will be offset by the $1,900/year in Solar Renewable Energy Certificate income (SREC). For every 1,000 kilowatt/hours that the system generates the user will receive one SREC which can be sold to the utility companies; market value in Delaware of one SREC is currently around $325. Since the solar panels are under warranty for 30 years and will produce half of the energy needs for the house the energy cost on the house will be “fixed” for the next 30 years. Brett Reilly explains, “Unlike propane or other gases, photovoltaic energy does not fluctuate with the outside temperature and it creates a fixed energy rate for some of your energy usage.”
Leaving more room for insulation by creating 24” centers in exterior walls, an 8’ porch that protects the house from the elements, and a crawl space that is completely protected from the elements, the NEB house utilizes the energy in the house most effectively. Using old techniques and new technologies TAPA Homes has built the first NEB Home in the first NEB Home subdivision, Green Acres of Milford, on the Delmarva Peninsula.
Brett Reilly and TAPA Homes will have a “Green Event” at the NEB home on November 6, 11am to 2pm, to offer details and answer any questions on how the house generates and conserves energy “without an energy bill”. For more information contact TAPA Homes at 302-934-5601.
The NEB home is located at:
2190 Reynolds Rd
Milford, DE 19963