[permaculture] Local Man Builds Solar Power-Reliant Home - Yahoo! News

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lfl at intrex.net
Sat Sep 23 01:46:20 EDT 2006

Local Man Builds Solar Power-Reliant Home

Thu Sep 21, 11:53 PM ET

If Richard Caputo had his way, his home in Julian would be the model for all homes built in the future. His house is 
almost completely self-sufficient on solar energy.

?My panels last year generated 98 percent of the electricity that we used. So, we had an electric bill for the year of 
$40.27, and that was for the year,? said Caputo.

Caputo has a set of panels that heats 70 to 80 percent of his home?s water, including a 500-gallon hot tub.

 From the exact position of the house facing the sun, to the insulation, to the proper choice of windows, Caputo has 
thought of everything.

10News cameras for this story did not use one light because the home provided its own natural light.

?All this glass looks nice, but it?s my heating system. So, you can, with architecture, do attractive things that are 
functional,? said Caputo.

The home does have central heat and air as a backup, but Caputo said he prefers a low-cost, high-efficient, 
environmental-friendly stove for winter days when the sun is blocked.

While the initial cost of the system may have been high, Caputo claimed it would pay for itself in about eight years. He 
also said he thinks more about future generations benefiting from a system like the one in his house than his financial 

?If every house that we're building did this, it would change the dynamics of building power plants and pollution,? 
added Caputo.

Caputo?s home is one of at least 30 homes across San Diego County that will be open to the public on Saturday, Sept. 30, 
as part of the Solar Homes Tour.

More information on the Solar Homes Tour can be found here

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