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.


excerpt from smud

Energy Measures
• Air sealed the envelope.
• Replaced roof adding ridge vents to improve attic ventilation
• 15” blown in cellulose (R-50) attic insulation.
• 2X6, 16” o.c. framing with blown in cellulose insulation (R-19-21) in addition.
• Replaced existing windows with high- performance ENERGY STAR® windows (U-value = 0.29-028 SHGC = 0.22-0.19)
• Replaced existing 7.75 HSPF, SEER 13 Heat Pump and R-2 ducts with a ductless, mini-split HSPF 9.0, SEER 15/EER 9.2 heat pump with three air handlers and an ENERGY STAR® programmable thermostat.
• Convertedexistingelectricstoragewaterheater with “add-on” heat pump water heater with COP of 2.5.
• Replacedallincandescentlightingfixtureswith hard wired ENERGY STAR® compact fluorescent (CFL) lighting fixtures.
• ENERGY STAR® Tier 2, Energy Factor 0.68 dishwasher
• ENERGY STAR® ceiling fans and CFL light kits
• ENERGY STAR® Bathroom low sone fans with Timer Controls
• ENERGY STAR® Range Hood
• Home Energy Rating (HERS) testing and verification

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