New solar home would eliminate electricity bill

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – For a 5,200 square-foot home, a homeowner could pay around $400 a month for electricity. Granite Ridge Builders is building a home of that size, but eliminating that monthly expense thanks to solar energy.

It’s known as a NetZero home. The home will use and produce solar energy at the same time all year long. If it needs to use energy from the power grid, it will use the produced energy to send it back, zeroing everything out. It’s the only house of its kind being built in our region.

“No one is doing it around here and we thought we ought to give this thing a shot and see what we can do with it,” said Brad Wallace, Vice President of Construction for Granite Ridges Builders.

The Fort Wayne contractor company held a groundbreaking ceremony on the land Thursday. The home is being built on along Flutter Road on Fort Wayne’s northeast side. Another part of this technology is a homeowner will be able to use smartphones and tablets to monitor energy usage.

“Knowing exactly how much I’m using from a day to day basis, all the way up to the whole year, where I can say, ‘wow I saved 400 hundred dollars a month and I have this 5200 square foot home,’ that’s just great,” said Jason Spuller, Information Technology and Marketing Director for the company.

This home will also be equipped with other technologies. A homeowner will be able to operate his or her home anywhere around the world using a smartphone or tablet. Certain features would be once you get about 10 miles from you home, it will turn on your heating or cooling system via GPS. The homeowner can also pull into their driveway and the garage door will automatically open, turn on the lights and deactivate the security system without you touching it.

The contractors were also concerned with the longevity of the home.

“With a lot products, wood products, stuff like that, there’s some natural components that do have the tendency to potentially mold, decay, and stuff like that,” said Luke Hoffman, construction supervisor. “Some of those products that we’ll putting in place, don’t have those components.”

The house will cost more than $400,000. The project of the home will take five months. Those with the Granite Ridge Builder said this particular home will be used for a model home and educational purposes.

For more information about this home and watch its progress, click here.

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