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Power supplier announces grant opportunities for net zero energy homes

Homeowners and builders in 51 public power communities now have the opportunity to apply for funding to help build or renovate a home with net zero energy use.

A net zero energy home (NZEH) is one that produces at least as much energy as it consumes. Our power supplier WPPI Energy’s GreenMax Home initiative provides grant funding to cover part of the incremental costs to build or remodel a conventional Upper Midwest home to achieve net zero energy use. Incremental costs eligible for GreenMax Home funding include the design elements and technologies directly related to reducing energy use or producing energy through renewable resources.

“Through our GreenMax Home initiative, WPPI Energy is pleased to invite energy conscious homeowners and builders in our 51 member communities to apply for funding to complete a home with net zero energy use,” said Senior Vice President of Customer Services and Administration Tom Paque.

To date, two GreenMax Homes are complete in the WPPI Energy member service territories of Black River Falls, Wis. and Stoughton, Wis. In Stoughton, homeowners John and Rebecca Scheller recently moved into their new GreenMax Home and will be working with WPPI Energy to share their experiences and monitor their energy use. In Black River Falls, after five months of recorded energy use, Tom and Verona Chambers’ home continues to produce more energy than the homeowners consume, putting them on track to reach their 12-month net zero energy goal.

To reach the NZEH goal, both GreenMax Homes incorporated features such as:

  • Structural plumbing to reduce hot water demands and waste water
  • A solar photovoltaic system
  • ENERGY STAR® rated windows
  • Geothermal heating and cooling
  • Advanced air sealing which conserves energy and improves occupant comfort
“Helping customers save energy is the most important thing we can do to keep customer bills down, protect the environment, and defer the need for new power plants,” said Paque. “The GreenMax Home initiative demonstrates both state of the art technologies and common practices that anyone can use to save energy at home. We are pleased to celebrate the success of our first two projects, and we look forward to helping additional homeowners achieve the net zero goal.”

Proposals for the GreenMax Home initiative are due by 4 p.m. on Feb. 26, 2010. For more information, visit

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