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Delaware MSR Coalition Wins MSR's 2004 Zero Energy Building Award

Delaware SOlar award


The Delaware Million Solar Roofs Coalition (DMSRC) was recognized as the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Million Solar Roofs Initiative (MSR) Zero Energy Homes Award Winner of 2004. The award was made at IREC's 22nd Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon, held prior to the start of the Solar 2004 Conference. This was the third year that IREC's meeting was held jointly with the U.S. DOE MSR partnerships. More than 110 people were at the annual meeting.

"Given the opportunities for solar in the new residential construction market, I have often wondered why more MSR Partnerships have not actively targeted developers/homebuilders in their solar market building efforts," said Stephen Miller, DOE's Northeast Region's MSRI coordinator.

Partly in response to the State of Delaware’s “Livable Delaware Policy” relating to energy efficiency and clean energy, the DMSRC, under the guidance of Sandra Burton of Green Plains Energy and Charlie Smisson of the Delaware Energy Office, set about the task of promoting this ‘Livable Delaware’ vision by pursuing the use of solar energy on ENERGY STAR ® buildings.

Over the past 12 months, DMSRC has managed to effectively jump start the Zero Energy Homes concept within the ‘First State.’ Focusing on education and awareness building with prolific Delaware developers, DMSRC’s efforts to link energy-efficient construction with solar energy as a means towards reaching the goal of “net zero” energy consumption within the region’s new building stock brought impressive results to Delaware, like:

--A winning message--The Pathway to A Zero Energy Home:Energy Star & Million Solar Roofs at the heavily attended Delaware Home Shows where the DMSRC partnered with another EERE program partner and took on the role of title sponsor (in conjunction with the Delaware Energy Office). As Sandra Burton aptly described it, “With the significant amount of pre-show and in-show promotions, the Zero Energy Homes message was EVERYWHERE!”

--Forging Relationship with Regional Developers: DMSRC’s work with Cannon Custom Homes is a perfect example of the Coalition’s success with local builders. The Cannon Custom Homes, Pennsylvania’s first-ever new solar home development, is building an adult (55 plus) active community. Scott Cannon, head of Cannon Custom Homes, was already an area leader in energy efficiency homebuilding when DMSRC partner, Green Plains Energy, and the Sustainable Development Fund (of the Philadelphia MSR) approached him about incorporating solar into the new home designs. Sandra Burton, of Green Plains Energy, surveyed the development’s lot plan, and determined that 60 of the 150 units were well sited for solar.

"Leveraging the Sustainable Development Fund’s solar electric rebates for the area, Sandra worked with Cannon Homes to come up with a 2.2 kW solar system design for these 60 units," said Miller. Factoring the added costs of the solar system in a standard 30-year mortgage, Cannon Homes estimates the cost of the solar system to the new homeowners at a nominal $40 per month (on average). "The active solar system, in conjunction with the Energy Star windows and appliances in each unit, allow Scott Cannon to virtually leap towards his goal of constructing Zero Energy Homes in the Mid-Atlantic region," Miller said.

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