No electric bills for this Jamestown home

JAMESTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — A two-story home near the bottom of the Jamestown Bridge is still under construction – but once it’s finished, it will produce all the energy it needs on its own.

The ocean-front residence will be one of only a few “net-zero” buildings in the state, meaning all of its energy will come from renewable sources.

The house will be off the electric grid as an array of solar panels on the roof will generate the electricity. Geothermal wells will be installed in the front yard to control heating and cooling by using underground temperatures to regulate house temperatures.

“The house is like a big igloo, essentially,” said Mike Cabral, co-founder of Newport Renewables.

Sheets of polystyrene foam are used for insulation, including 12-inch-thick pieces for the roof.

“The efficiency of your home is measured with r-value,” explained co-founder Stuart Flanagan. ‘The r-value of these walls is very high, as well as the roof, more than you would see in a typical home.”

A net-zero home takes about the same amount of time to build as a typical home, and the cost is about the same. Neighbors will also be glad to know that the design isn’t out of the ordinary.

“It’s not a radical new design,” Flanagan added. “We’re able to stick with the same design aesthetic of beautiful Jamestown.”

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

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