Retrofitting a 112-year-old house with solar panels

Jun 24, 2013

Recently scientists issued a statement indicating the world's atmospheric carbon dioxide level had reached 400 parts per million. Prior to the industrial revolution the level was 280 parts per million.

For those concerned about climate change, this is an alarming threshold. We don’t know yet what it will mean in the coming decades, but the last time the CO2 level was this high in the atmosphere about two and a half million years ago, the Earth was a much warmer, much different place.

Those who have been concerned about climate change have been talking about this and some have taken action. One of those people lives here in Michigan.

Matthew Grocoff with Greenovation TV, has been working on a 112-year-old house in Ann Arbor, making it energy efficient. Recently, he added solar panels.

"It's been fantastic," Matt said. "We've achieved net-zero energy, and our next stage is actually net-zero water."

Currently, the house is producing more energy than it uses. 

And, with solar panels becoming more efficient and less expensive, this is something that more houses could aim to achieve.

"At current rates, we could be at 1,200 parts per million up from the 400 parts we are right now by the year 2050," Matt said of why people should take action. "Companies like Wal-Mart, Google, and the U.S. Army all have their mission zeros, which by a certain date they will be powered by 100% renewable energy."

The Great Lakes region is even projected to be one of the biggest producers of energy in the country by 2050 by harvesting wind and solar power.

For more information about energy efficiency in the home, visit Matt's website - http://www.greenovationtv.com/

-Michelle Nelson, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Listen to the full interview above.