When David Fink and Barbara Simko decided to renovate their 70-year-old Melrose home, the initial plan was to remodel the kitchen and build an addition. This ultimately evolved into a much more complex project, transforming the 1,572-square-foot structure into a net-zero electric home, one that does not use more energy than it produces.
Basically, the strategy was to make the home as efficient as possible while converting all energy requirements to electricity. In this way, solar panels could provide all the necessary energy. The project took 14 months and was completed in 2013.
Over a four-year period, ending in January 2017, electricity generated by the solar array exceeded household usage, resulting in net-zero energy consumption.
Fink and Simko will describe their exploits at the next meeting of the Melrose Energy Commission on Thursday, June 22. This meeting will be held at the Cassidy Conference Room at Melrose City Hall from 7:15-9 p.m. and is open to the public.
The Fink-Simko residence received a Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) Zero Net Energy Building Award (ZNEBA) Finalist award at the organization’s 2015 annual convention.
The project team consisted group of architect Steven Baczek and David Joyce (formerly of Synergy Construction) along with consultants Mike Duclos and Paul Eldrenkamp from DEAP Energy Group. Mark Durrenberger of New England Clean Energy provided expertise and solar array installation. MassSave and National Grid provided partial funding via subsidies.
For additional information, contact the Melrose Energy Commission at 781-662-2616 or MelroseEnergyChallenge@gmail.com.