Couple Turns 116-Year-Old House Into A Net-Zero Home, Now Their Electricity Bill Is $285 A Year

Zinger Key Points
  • Shanahan has drastically reduced his energy bills by retrofitting his house to net zero.
  • “We’re in it for the run long at this point," the 41-year-old said.
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While President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), signed into law in August last year, will inject $1.75 trillion into clean energy initiatives to help curb inflation, homeowners in the U.S. are taking matters into their own hands, helping the environment and keeping money in their bank accounts.

One such homeowner is Ryan Shanahan, who bought a 116-year-old house in Portland, Oregon with the goal of making it net-zero, meaning that his home wouldn’t contribute any greenhouse gases into the environment, according to CNBC’s Make It.

Now that the retrofit is complete, Shanahan and his partner Megan Milligan have greatly reduced their energy expenses and are proud to live in a net-zero house that doesn’t contribute to climate change.

“My mantra is that the future is efficient, electric, and renewable,” Shanahan told the outlet.

Also Read: You Don't Need Coding Experience Or A Tech Background To Land This AI Job Paying Well Over 6 Figures A Year 

How It Works

Shanahan, a 41-year-old zero-energy retrofits manager at zero-energy housing company Birdsmouth, selected the house in 2017 because of its rectangular shape and long south-facing roofline. In 2019, he took out a $100,000 home equity line of credit and embarked on a three-month process to retrofit the house, Shanahan told the publication.

In total, the couple spent $48,325 on renovations after receiving tax credits and incentives from the government, saving a lot of money because they did the demolition work themselves. The couple invested in insulation, solar panels, a new electric system, and a heat pump, among other energy-efficient products.

When Shanahan moved in, he estimated he would need to spend $2,247 per year on energy costs for the house. For the year 2019, while the work was being completed, that number dropped to $1,100 and the following year, after all the retrofits were finished, the couple’s electricity costs were reduced to just $285 per year.

With the solar panels, Shanahan was able to produce 10% more energy than what they used until purchasing an electric vehicle. Since buying the car, the couple pays a small amount on electricity again, but Shanahan said it “wasn’t much,” according to CNBC.

The couple expects the renovation costs of becoming net-zero will have paid for themselves by 2036 or 2037. “We’re in it for the long run at this point. We’ve invested so much and we love this home,” Milligan told the outlet.

Read Next: Here's How This Gen Zer Brings In $9,000 A Month And It Takes Just 8 Hours A Week

This story is part of a new series of features on the subject of success, Benzinga Inspire.

Photo: Shutterstock

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