FARMINGTON — Even on rainy April mornings, Mike Randich's house is collecting energy.
Randich, along with Avon-based building company Wolfworks, completed a home this year that was awarded a $10,000 prize from the Zero Energy Challenge, a competition put on by Energize Connecticut -- which is overseen by Connecticut Light & Power and United Illumintating.
As is the purview of the contest, Randich's home is zero energy. According to Enoch Lenge, an energy efficiency spokesperson for Connecticut Light & Power, the home doesn't consume any more energy than it produces.
According to the builder and designer, Jamie Wolf, this is achieved by making the building airtight and super-insulated because he said much of energy is lost through heating the home, which can be lost through walls and windows.
He said the goal then is to get the energy loss to such a low point that solar panels can make up the difference. The home, which is on Metacomet Drive, has solar panels covering the south-side of the roof.
For Randich, who has lived in the house with his wife for about 2-and-a-half months, figuring out how much energy the houses uses has become a bit of a hobby.
He said he bought a simple energy monitor and checks how much energy the house uses as the seasons change and different appliances are used.
Both Randich and Wolf said that it isn't terribly difficult to build something like this as long as it is done from the onset, but Wolf said retrofitting a house this way can be a bit more involved.
Wolf said many of the systems that are used in terms of appliances are too different than those in a normal house, but most of the mechanical systems are much smaller.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun