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Rochester Leaders Looking at Zero-Energy Ready Homes Program

June 12, 2019 11:01 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Environmentally friendly and sustainable homes are becoming all the rage, and the City of Rochester is taking notice.

For 40 years, Brian Wimmer has been building and remodeling homes.

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For the past 14 years, he’s also helped families get into affordable homes as the construction manager for the Rochester Area Habitat for Humanity.

Wimmer learned a lot, and saw a lot of changes when it comes to building more energy-efficient homes. That’s why he developed the “build to zero-energy ready” home program.

"A zero-energy ready home, as the Department of Energy defines it, is a house that’s so thermally efficient, all of its annual energy needs could be met through renewable energy sources,” he said.

Leaders with the City of Rochester are getting on board with the idea.

“Education is one of those resources of how they can build their homes smarter, or retrofit it smarter, that saves them money, saves energy, so whether they’re motivated by saving money or motivated by preserving the environment, it’s a tool in the toolbox that we can share with them,” said Cindy Steinhauser, community development director.

Walking through one of the homes Wimmer hopes to have certified as “zero-energy ready,” he said solar panels could be in the plans.

 “When you go to generate electricity, you don’t want to have to generate so much that your house can’t handle all of panels necessary because you didn’t make your house that energy efficient," he said. "So the less energy your house uses, the less solar panels you’re going to need to make up the amount of energy you need for that house.”

If you don’t have the means to make your home smarter right now, Wimmer has some easy ways to be more energy-efficient:

“You don’t put hot water on to wash your hands; wait, give up and wash your hands before it’s warm and shut it off, because now you’ve used hot water to come out of the hot water heater, but you didn’t actually use hot water on your hands, so that was a waste.”

Credits

Brett Bachtle

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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