Net Zero Apartment Building in Portland, MaineThe Portland Press Herald reports on a new high-efficiency 3-unit apartment building installed on Portland’s East End:

Paul Ledman and his wife, Colleen Myers, are using the power of the sun and air to make their Portland home perfectly comfortable with minimal energy from outside sources. Ledman says cutting down on usage doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort.

They had a dream when they purchased a vacant lot on Munjoy Hill, a perfect site at 62 Cumberland Ave. Ledman’s vision included not only a magnificent view of Portland from the upper floors, but also a way to build so there would be abundant heat, hot water and air conditioning for less than what most of us pay to outside companies.

“If you don’t waste energy, you don’t need to keep buying it,” he said.

Together with general contractor Mike White, owner of Island Carpentry, Ledman found the right people to explore options, make decisions, and do the hands-on work of creating an energy-efficient home to provide spacious living for himself and his family, plus two bright, attractive apartments, totaling three stories of living space and a garage.

Ledman says he used three basic components in the heating and ventilating design, and although the equipment doesn’t need to be over-the-top expensive, it does need to be the correct equipment … Photovoltaic (solar) panels on the roof generate electricity for the house. As a bonus, extra power produced now can also be used later, in a bank of sorts: Ledman gets credit from Central Maine Power for power he doesn’t use, for use on cloudy days. And that’s not just because Ledman is such a nice guy. It’s the law. The building is “on the grid” with Central Maine Power, and this credit system is regulated by the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

Full article by Kathy Eliscu available at: http://www.pressherald.com/life/homeandgarden/solar-on-munjoy-hill_2011-09-04.html?searchterm=solar+hot+water