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Tuesday, February 20 News

Energy-efficient home in Fairfield open for Saturday tours

Clean-energy advocates will show off one of the town's most energy-efficient homes during an open house Saturday afternoon.

The solar-powered house at 25 Hunter Road, off Duck Farm Road, will be open to the public from 1 to 3 p.m.

Sponsored by the town's Clean Energy Task Force, the event aims to promote the Fairfield Energy Challenge, a drive to get homeowners to sign up for home-energy audits. Information about energy-saving measures, solar power and other green initiatives will be available.

Owned by Scott Thompson, the task force chairman, the two-story Colonial features:

- Solar panels that produce 120 percent of the electricity required for the house and an electric car

- A Nissan Leaf all-electric car and residential charging station

- Heating by a stove that burns biomass pellets made of plant material and agricultural waste

- An ultra-high-efficiency, direct-fired natural gas hot-water system

- Retrofitted blown-in attic insulation and dense pack wall insulation

- High-efficiency replacement windows

- Energy star appliances and high-efficiency LED lighting

- Organic vegetable gardens and native perennial landscaping

- Yard and kitchen waste composting

During Fairfield's 375th anniversary year, the Fairfield Energy Challenge has a goal of enlisting 375 homeowners to have home-energy audits, which assess where homes are losing energy and how greater efficiencies can be achieved, the task force said.

The audits are conducted through a utilities-supported program called Home Energy Solutions. Audits cost $75 for homes with electric or natural gas heat, $99 for homes with oil or propane hear, the task force said.

Problems such as duct leaks and failed caulking are detected and fixed on the spot. Old incandescent light bulbs are replaced with new-generation, high-efficiency bulbs at no extra cost, the task force said.

An audit report makes recommendations about the furnace, hot water heater, appliances and insulation, and includes information about cost-saving rebate programs.

About 1,000 of Fairfield's roughly 20,000 homes have had audits, the task force estimates.

For more information about home-energy audits, visit http://energizect.com