Hoitsma House - 1st winter's utility bills

05/23/2015 13:33

Todd and Amy Hoitsma's new house has gone through it's first winter.  I called Todd up to find out how well it performed.  They used 90 therms of natural gas (about $100) and their PV system produced an excess of 1400 kWhr ($170) of electricity. They are thrilled and so am I.  "Warm, quiet and clean" is how they describe living there. 

Photo Gallery: Hoitsma House - 1st winter's utility bills

Chinese style Solar Greenhouse

 Imagine, as a market gardener, growing fresh, organic food all year in Montana without any fossil fuels. Tomatoes into November and December, new greens starting in February. These off season crops offer higher profit margins because the alternative for consumers is the tired produce in the grocery stores.

The Chinese started developing solar greenhouses in the 1970's and now have over 3 million acres of them.  Their mature design grows vegetables year-round and is energy self sufficient up to the 42nd parallel.

We are currently working with a Montana market gardener to build a commercial solar greenhouse next year. Our goals are to use the Chinese model and proportions but adapt to our local materials and building practices.  We know that the building will have to perform well, but also be inexpensive enough to make the economics work.

Please call or write if you have interest in a similar project.



Jim Baerg Montana Energy+Design
223 S. 5th St.
Livingston, MT 59047
406-220-1498 jlbaerg@gmail.com