Michael Whitehead says VERY GREEN!
We posted a challenge to West Vincent residents in this column. Constellation Energy has just recognized West Vincent Township's administration for committing to get 10% of its electricity from renewable energy resources for the next 12 months. We asked residents: Can you beat 10% at your house? Michael wrote us this answer:
Thanks to my engineering background, the creative use of federal, Commonwealth, and Peco energy programs, and some hard work and research, my wife Miqun and I are proud that as of this year our home's energy needs come from nearly 100% renewable resources.
Our ground-mounted 7.32 KW solar array meets nearly all of our electrical needs on an annual basis while a 6 ton ground source (geothermal) heat pump provides for renewable heating and cooling for our now well-insulated 18th century West Vincent home. The geothermal system replaced an oil-burning boiler.
Additionally, the geothermal unit is equipped with a domestic hot water system to capture waste heat from the system for hot water needs by pre-heating water for our already highly efficient on-demand propane backup domestic hot-water system, thereby minimizing propane needs.
While in some months our solar array produces more than our consumption, for those months where we do not have net electricity needs from the utility, our electricity provider, Philadelphia Energy Coop, permits us to specify that all our electricity be derived from renewable resources.
Our net energy cost including heat, air-conditioning and electricity on an annual basis are near zero.
Michael Whitehead explains his heating/cooling system at Community Day.
Volunteers from The West Vincent Sustainability Committee surveyed Community Day fair goers to find out what they were doing " sustainably" and what they would like to learn more about. Participants in the survey entered their names in a raffle. Robert Butch won a free home energy audit and Suzanne Roth won dinner for two at Amani Restaurant in Downingtown. Many thanks to all of you who took the time to fill out our questionnaire. The Committee plans to develop a longer,more detailed questionnaire to distribute to residents. Answers from that survey will help create baseline data to track progress toward the goals outlined in the Township Sustainability Plan.Debbie Westfall takes the Sustainability Survey at Community Day.
Adrienne Boyance and Brian Curry draw the raffle winners at the May Sustainability Meeting. Adrienne and Brian are sporting the headbands that identified the Sustainability Committee Surveyors at Community Day.
TOWNSHIPS ARE GREENING UP (link to article published in PA Township News April 2012)