I agree with Patrick Farley’s comment that real sustainability is driven by individual actions. In that vein, we worked with EarthCraft builder Mark Waring last year to build a near net-zero 3,200-square-foot home in Chesterfield County, at surcharge of approximately 5 to 10 percent over current code construction. The entire energy bill for the first 10 months of 2011 totaled approximately $900. With the sale of our Solar Renewable Energy Certificates, our annual energy cost is estimated to be under $500. The home is very solid, still, quiet, comfortable and conventional appearing. We are secure in the idea that we have reduced our annual operating expenses while conserving dwindling resources. Enlightened individual decisions will continue to make the Richmond metropolitan area a wonderful place to live in the years to come.
J. Randy Thomas