Just saw a great item on Close-Up about a couple building their new house with the clear and achievable objective of having a ZERO power bill…great stuff and so very easy when you building a house from new because you can incorporate this very cool stuff into the design itself. The two things that I liked about this design are the extra thick wall that allows an extra 45mm of insulation to be added simply by adding an extra batten to the outside of the framing; and the ever so cool Intelliroof where solar panels replace traditional roofing surfaces, saving cost and weight…this couple claim that they will never need a heater in this house and while I think that is a little optimistic – and no cheating by wearing 17 layers of clothing in winter! – it will be a very warm house.

It’ll probably be quite cost-effective too as they are structuring it so that any surplus will be fed back into the national grid. This begs two important questions: the first, of course is why didn’t we know about this when we replaced the Lodge roof in January! Shifty Just like when we laid the big concrete drive – which still looks awesome – only to learn only a week later about the geothermal heat exchange technology (aka ground source heating) for which we could have laid the hoses under the driveway concrete Baring teeth smile– if we had known – even if we had waited a while before installing the actual heat exchangers and radiators…

And secondly, why is the Government not subsidising these sort of initiatives to promote the generation of clean electricity? Yeah sure, they do subsidise insulating your house and made it mandatory to have specced insulation and double-glazing in new houses BUT nothing that might really chip into powerco profits like a broader generation base. For us, I think we’d probably use most of the power generated while we are at home but for those periods when we are away, a good 70-80% of our power generation capacity could be directed back to the national grid. Even if every new house only generated 10% of its actual needs, that still 10% that doesn’t need to be generated elsewhere, especially in dirty stinky oil and coal burning power stations, and a potential surplus to be fed back into the grid. And if it helps stick it to greedy monopolies like The Lines Company, the better – although they are serious provocation to just cut the cable and jack out…

Intelliroof is marketed in New Zealand by SolarCity – I hooked over to their website as soon as the Close-Up item was finished and it looks pretty slick – definitely worth a look but be aware that they have been a bit lazy and all their brochures are UK ones so not directly relevant or correct for the NZ environment . Little things like that may me wonder just how secure they are so hopefully they will get that sorted quickly and will be able to establish themselves successfully in this market…

Good on Close-Up just for once for running a useful story that isn’t focussed on more whining cry-babies or more irrelevant pseudo-celebrity antics…ironically, having said that, the Intelliroof story is the only one not specially featured on their FB page tonight…

So, there you go, just a quick item on some cool technology with some real potential…give SolarCity a call and show some interest in what they are doing, encourage them to update those brochures with Kiwi ones and let’s go GREEN!

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