#6 – Tidwell Clean Energy Home
Image credit: Chesapeake Climate Action Network
And here we have solar sexiness on a very low budget. Introducing the life and times of the Tidwell Clean Energy Home. A pet project of owner Mike Tidwell, this conventional, grid-power-sucking home was converted to a solar home for the very-low price of $7,500. How did he do it? You can read the story at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Here are some highlights. First, a switch to energy efficient light bulbs and some minor lifestyle changes (e.g. drying clothes on the line), which cut electricity consumption by more than 50 percent. Then, he used an array of solar rebates available to Maryland homeowners (including federal rebates), installed a 36-panel solar PV system that provides 70 percent of the home’s electricity, a solar hot water heater, and a high-efficiency, corn-burning stove for heat. If you happen to live in the region, Mike Tidwell opens his home to the public every few months. All of these changes were made to an existing home.