No Energy Bill Home Lives Up to Name


With the price of fuel increasing at an alarming rate many Americans are looking for a new way to buy energy that will fit their budget. Whether it is gasoline for the family automobile or propane and other gases to heat the house, consumers are getting tired of business as usual. Brett Reilly, owner of TAPA homes, has used the State of Delaware and federal energy incentives to create a solution to these problems when it comes to finding a way to make a more energy efficient house.

His idea of 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.

Ten months after construction, the NEB home has lived up to its name by producing so little energy and creating an energy bill that is almost nonexistent. Three of the last ten months has produced a negative balance on the electric bill from the Delaware Electric Cooperative with the average bill being just $24.17. Over the past ten months the house has produced an average Kilowatt-hour rate of 151.1 kWh. According to the Delaware State Housing Authority, the average house the same size as the NEB home produces 1,200 Kilowatt-hours per month.

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. Energy produced will be 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.”

Using old 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’s vision is to give consumers an alternative to high priced energy that is built directly into the construction of a new home. Building the homes around energy efficiency, from the foundation up, the NEB model is made to produce less energy from day one.

For more information on how the house generates and conserves energy “without an energy bill” contact TAPA Homes at 302-934-5601 or visit