We received word from the US Green Building Council that our home has been certified at the LEED Platinum level. The long delay was due primarily to waiting for the installation of the solar panels. We achieved all of the points we intended to achieve, though we had inadvertently double counted a few. The executive summary of the points we attained is listed in the adjacent table. The first number is the total received contrasted with the total achievable. We needed a minimum of 90 out of a possible 136 points to achieve the Platinum rating.
We have also received the signed agreement from Consumers Energy, officially making us a supplier to the utility company. From the data we have gathered so far, our average use is 742 kWh (kilowatt hours) per month against a budget of 562 kWh of consumption which is the number we estimated to design the system. Keep in mind that this includes all energy use including heating, cooling, and cooking, as we opted not to install any gas. June and July were the first two full months of electrical consumption data. Both of those months came in below our energy budget when we were able to have the windows open most of the time.
Then came one of the hottest summers on record, and we delighted in testing out our new radiant floor cooling system. After installing cedar shake shingles all day in 95 degree weather it was a great relief to come in to a cool home. We also spent a considerable amount of energy dehumidifying the house, with two dehumidifiers operating full time from August to mid December. The amount of water in the concrete, drywall, and insulation will take a long time to extract, and the energy cost of performing that function was not considered. Hopefully dehumidification will not be as much of a factor this next year.
Around 3:00 am this morning I heard a thumping noise that sounded like a neighbor either chopping wood or kicking his door in. It was a deep somewhat rhythmic noise that occasionally became staccato. I got up and looked out the windows but could not see anything out of place. The noise continued for another hour before tapering off. I mentioned it to Judy in the morning, and she identified the sound as snow falling off the roof. We had a mild thaw last night with about three inches of snow on the roof. I felt like an idiot for not figuring it out myself.
In the critter department; three small does walked through the front yard yesterday morning, and later in the afternoon a herd of thirteen more walked through. A parasite related to the drought we had last year that has decimated the deer population in Michigan, so we are relived to see signs of more activity. Our neighbor gave us a corn feeder which we put out for the deer. So far it has served only to attract five fat squirrels, half a dozen blue jays, innumerable sparrows, and a few cardinals. Last week a flock of 17 turkeys ambled nervously through the backyard. They make their appearance about once a month and are very alert for the slightest motion. They certainly do look prehistoric.
May you all have a great New Year!