NET ZERO HOUSE
This exciting project addresses a number of Capital for Change’s organizational goals, including reuse of formerly contaminated land, carbon reduction and affordable housing development.
Capital for Change is the proud lender behind the construction of a new energy-efficient home recently purchased by the Traynham family of five (mom, dad and three kids) formerly from New Haven. Their new home was financed with construction funds from C4C and subsidy from the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority’s State Housing Tax Credit program. The tax credits were purchased by Eversource Energy, the leading electric provider in the State of Connecticut. The new home is located on land that was remediated and reclaimed through the Newhall Residential Remediation Program. Between 2010 and 2012 the Program cleaned the sites of more than 240 mostly residential properties built on landfill dumped between 1900 and 1950 by Winchester Repeating Arms Factory.
The new, 1,800-square-foot three-bedroom home qualifies as a “Zero Energy Residence.” A zero-energy home is a building with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site. These buildings consequently contribute less overall greenhouse gas to the atmosphere than similar buildings that are not zero-energy homes. The home includes many significant energy-conservation features, including advanced-framing exterior walls, shallow frost-protected foundations, Energy Star V3-certified with LED lighting and Energy Star appliances, U-Value U= .17/triple glazed windows, a split-air source heat-pump system, significant insulation and many green and recycled products. The new owners will add solar panels to take advantage of tax credits for the investment of a photovoltaic system. With the addition of the solar panels, the home will be close to cost-free energy. This helps make homeownership affordable to this family earning 50% of the Area Median Income. The Traynhams hope to generate additional income through the investment in solar panels which will allow them to periodically sell energy back to the power company.