Energy-Efficient Demonstration House in Del Paso

Stories of energy-efficient renovations often feature beautiful high-end villas. This is a blog for the rest of us. This is a story of a small, older home, where we used technology to address a range of energy use problems.

Like most houses in historic Del Paso, it was built in the fifties in a bungalow style, has alley access to a large back yard, great soil, and good water. The house was built with 920 square feet of living space, two bedrooms, one bath and a small garage. Unknown to the planning department, some time in the seventies, the garage morphed into a third bedroom. The foreclosed and vacant house was watched over by friendly neighbors and there was no vandalism. We bought it for $46,000.

We received a rehabilitation loan from the Sacramento Housing and Rehabilitation (SHRA) under their Vacant Properties Program and started renovation. The Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) helped us fund some new energy saving innovations. We promised in return that we would demonstrate the innovations to the public. Monitoring equipment will soon be installed by SMUD, which will allow them track energy usage in various systems in the house for approximately two years. The monitoring will be done without intruding on the people who eventually buy and live in the house.


the house is almost done.

This is going to be close. The first two open houses on December 12 and 13 are primarily for neighbors. We are advertising the ones that start on the 19th.

By tomorrow mountains of construction supplies need to be moved out and the floors cleared for the installer to lay carpet in the bedrooms. The double-pane windows were installed this week-end.


  1. What a difference from when you began and now. Looks great!

  2. I think you did a wonderful job. Obviously, this great act needs to be expanded on a wider scale and more money should be infused. One way of how to do this if you're is work with a consortium of inner city churches that represent the huge number of parolees who are going to be released the Califronia Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation over the next 24 monts. The Green House can be renovated versions of energy efficient half-way house that can serve as housing for male & female parolees who are low level offenders. There actually millions out in the public market for this type of venture right now if you'd just like at the federal funds, and then when you weigh in on the state resources everything becomes super abundant. Surely, this is a business opportunity for a Christian who seeks an entrepreneurial venture that can open up a statewide window!