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When will homes create all the power they use?

by Lorien Nettleton ~ April 11th, 2013

Saving money on home energy use is a common concern for residents of Alaska. Home heating and electricity is a cost-intensive task over the winter months, and a number of large energy projects have been discussed at great length within the state for the last several years.

One organization, the Alaska Center for Appropriate Technology is working to help people save money by reducing their energy consumption. As KTNA’s Lorien Nettleton reports, a series of Net Zero workshops are aimed at helping people produce as much energy as they consume.

Jason Collins is an architect, working in Alaskan construction design for over 12 years. Working with home builders in the MAt Su Valley, Collins has become obsessed with saving energy, and even getting more energy from a house than a house uses. The idea of Net Zero has been his focus for several years now.

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Collins, along with the Alaska Center for Appropriate Technology, has been leading workshops to introduce Net Zero concepts to builders and homeowners interested in saving money and leaving a very small footprint in an otherwise energy-intensive state. The workshops help foster dialogue about what people are doing both in Alaska and across the nation to harness personal energy for home use. Collins says that his work has put him in touch with a number of people from around the state who are coming very close to meeting Net Zero goals.

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Because alaskans have a way of doing everything their own way, there are many individuals working on the problem of saving energy and producing home energy. In the last decade, many renewable resources have improved for home use, and if his expectation is right, Collins anticipates continued improvements to technology will improve performance and bring down cost in years to come.

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While it’s in many ways preferable to start a Net Zero project at the start of a home’s construction phase, Collins says there are a lot of ways people can retrofit their home for energy savings, including using the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation’s Home Energy Rebates.

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The Alaska Center for Appropriate Technology’s Net Zero workshop will take place this Saturday in Wasilla.

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