Hyper-Efficient Wyoming Home Bucks 90% Coal-Powered State Trend
Who thinks advanced energy efficiency when they think of 90% coal-powered Wyoming? Not me. The average house in the state has to use over 800 kilowatt hours a month of the dirtiest energy in the US, to heat and power the same iPods and so on that in the other states take half those kilowatts – and far cleaner ones too!
That’s because Wyoming pooh-poohs tough energy efficiency building codes and clean energy legislation that is now helping other states get their fossil energy use way down.
Nevertheless, at least one house in the state has been designed to far exceed the state’s non-existant renewable energy and household energy-efficiency requirements.Â And considering the response of Wyoming homeowners to a chance to install clean, safe, reliable, renewable home energy funded by Recovery Act stimulus funds – soon it won’t be the only one!
The glass in these large Solarban 60 energy-efficient glass windows from Pennsylvania reduces solar heat gain by about 90% of the US average.
These 18″ thick rammed earth walls from Oregon-based EarthWall act as a heat gain during the day, soaking up the sun and releasing the heatÂ when the air cools off at night. Earthwall reinforces the earth with steel rods to give the structure support for earthquake protection. And besides which, they look chic and eco-correct, too.
The concrete floors have fly ash waste folded safely into it, so that instead of having to use up valuable resources for building materials – a waste product from the coal industry – fly ash, is used instead. It is safe to use in this way, and very durable, but instead of enduring in landfill where it endangers water supplies for centuries, it is sealed up harmlessly into the flooring.
Installed underneath the floors are radiant heat pipes to warm and cool the water to keep the house moderate all year and eliminate the need for air conditioning.
Renewable energy provides the electricity. A wind power system captures some of the “Saudi Arabia of Wind” in Wyoming to power halogen energy-efficient light bulbs (and the rest of the home’s electrical needs).
As Wyoming’s most famous resident former Vice President Cheney once famously said, while pooh-poohing alternatives to fossil energy: “Energy conservation is (merely) a virtue”.
I’d say, it’s not merely a virtue.Â In this instance it has made for one truly gorgeous house!