2014 Zero Net Energy Building Award

poster in lobby

We won! Thanks to the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) for awarding us the 2014 Zero Energy Building Award at the Building Energy Conference (BE14) in Boston this week. Gina McCarthy of the EPA gave a rousing keynote, and shortly after Jill and I were called onstage to receive the award.

At the afternoon lunch panel discussion we gave a short presentation about the house along with a few other contestants including Carter Scott. It was a great crowd with good questions.

But the best part was getting to meet a few of my energy heroes.

Marc Rosenbaum

Marc Rosenbaum

Marc Rosenbaum is EnergySmiths and keeps a great blog at Thriving on Low Carbon. His name always pops up on interesting projects around New England and he knows his data, particularly when it comes to heat pumps. I’ve followed his writings and work for several years now. It was a pleasure to meet him in person.

Carter Scott

Carter Scott

I was also fortunate to meet Carter Scott of Transformations. I was still considering large masonry stoves, radiant floors and solar hot water in late 2009 when Jill and I were kicking around plans and researching different heating strategies. Then I found an article in Solar Today (2008) about a house Carter Scott was building for the Zero Energy Home Challenge in Massachusetts. This is also how I found Mike Duclos and our energy consultants, DEAP Energy Group. These houses featured double stud walls packed with cellulose, an air-source heat pump and solar PV. I was sold on the idea.

Selfie with Warren Coolidge

Our contractor, Warren Coolidge

And speaking of heroes, I also want to thank our contractor Warren Coolidge. He took time out of his busy schedule and made the long drive to Boston to join us at the conference. Warren listened to all my crazy energy ideas and found ways to help us build the house, and keep it on budget (most of the time).  He is a true craftsman and I very much enjoyed working with him. I don’t sell anything on this site, but if you want to build a net zero house in Washington County, New York, hire this man. You won’t be sorry.

We’ll be opening up the house again for NESEA’s Green Building Open House tour in October. See the house, the goats, chickens and turkeys. I’m sure Jill will also have some home-made cheese available. Mark your calendars and come visit us!

4 Responses to “2014 Zero Net Energy Building Award”


  1. 2 Christian Dagg 9-March-2014 at 1:13 pm

    Larry, congratulations to you and Jill. I need to get you on a video conference with my students. Or better yet- a lecture, if you are interested.

  2. 4 Jim Merrithew 9-March-2014 at 5:15 pm

    Hello Larry and Jill

    Congratulations on the award. It recognizes the amazing house you have built and your efforts to be Net Zero. .

    If my memory is correct, you have been in the house for three winters now. During that time you have posted comments, useful graphs and technical information about energy generation and consumption. Do you have any other general insights about the house, its design and features or just general observations?

    A few years ago, when you were in the construction stage, we exchanged comments about the risks of ice and snow falling near the basement walk-out. Has this been an issue?

    In recent weeks, in Grande Prairie, Alberta, the weather has been cold: -20 to – 33 C. Today its a wonderful sunny, warm spring day: +7. The snow is melting and a few brave souls are wearing shorts. Yea!!

    Take care. Jim


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