Sustainable Houses

Mission Zero House – The First Net-Zero-Energy Home in Michigan

The now famous Mission Zero House started out as an old Victorian house from 1901, but in the hands of Matt Grocoff and his wife Kelly, it became a model net-zero-house, the first of its kind in Michigan.

Just like many other home around the United States, the old house Matt and Kelly bought was poorly insulated and featured a lot of appliances that weren’t exactly energy-efficient. After performing an energy audit and checking the insulation for potential leaks, they started turning the old Victorian residence in Ann Arbor into a modern sustainable home. “We are now fulfilling our family’s goal of restoring a home that creates its own energy, creates zero waste and will be a restorative part of our community,” Grocoff says about their efforts. It was long five-year process that cost $47,000, but Mission Zero House is now complete and serves as a perfect example of what a net-zero-energy house should be.

The total of $47,130 that were invested in the Mission Zero House were spent as follows: Insulation  $3,600, UltimateAir ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator)  $3,000, Wwndow restoration  $6,000 (restored 110 year old windows), Geothermal Heating / AC and Hot Water (3 ton)  WaterFurnace Envision – $13,000 (with 30% Fed tax credit), $21,000 (including duct work), $19,000 (not including duct work) – Storm Windows w/ Low-E Glass by Trapp $1600, Wattstopper Motion sensor light switches  $500, CFL & LED lightbulbs  $150, Energy Monitor  $150, Shower heads  $80 Caroma, Bricor & Hansgrohe, Smart Strip  $50, 8.1kW SunPower solar panels $19,000 out-of-pocket – after tax credit and utility incentive ($56,000 total, $7 per kW) with Enphase Microinverters

The estimated annual energy production of the Mission Zero House is 10,581 kWh (10.5 megawatts), while the consumption is estimated at less than 10,000 kWh, so their utility bill will be zero. By eliminating energy bills and receiving renewable energy credits, instead of paying around $83,510 worth of energy bills for the next 20 years, they will receive $23,280 (calculated at 4% annual inflation). “Greening our homes is the best way to save money, help the economy, create jobs, make our homes more comfortable and help to avoid climate catastrophe and protect the one home we share.” Grocoff says.


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