Published in the Oregonian: Tour old, new zero-energy homes that make more power than they use
People living in the new Tillamook Row housing complex in Northeast Portland are expecting to pay nothing in energy bills. About a mile away in the King neighborhood, a second, smaller home makes more renewable energy than the occupants use.
Across Portland are newly built dwellings and older ones retrofitted to be so environmentally smart — with an airtight, super-insulated structure and energy-efficient features such as carefully positioned solar panels — that, over the course of a year, they reward residents with zero energy bills and a carbon-free home.
The event’s goal is to show “surprisingly simple, accessible and innovative strategies” homeowners can adopt to reduce energy bills, say organizers, who include nonprofit clean energy advocate Solar Oregon, environmentally driven builders, architects and designers like Green Hammer plus organizations that promote sustainable construction such as Passive House Northwest, Earth Advantage and the Home Performance Council of the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland.