The best green energy additions to your home

Last post, we spoke of heat pump water heaters. If you want to invest in your house, what are some plausible options to save money and reduce carbon dioxide pollution?

A pile of jeans from Free Photo Library. Recycled jeans can be turned into denim insulation for your house. Sheep’s wool is making a comeback too.
  • Heat pump water heaters – Given their efficiency for turning electricity into heat, the energy savings and carbon dioxide savings from not using methane gas are immense. Last month we used 76 CCF of methane gas. According to, the carbon dioxide calculation for methane gas is 0.0551 metric tons CO2/Mcf.
  • 7600 cubic feet / 1000 * 12 months * 0.0551 ( 1 MCF = 1000 cubic feet, 1 CCF = 100 cubic feet) gives us a whopping 5 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year!!! That’s really insane.
  • Next up, I’m going with solar panels. Our system cost $70,000 for a 16 kW system. That’s a lot of money. For most people you can get a smaller system for less money. Our 16 kW system will save 20 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. We were fortunate enough to get a 1.99% and 2.49% loan for 25 years. At those terms, we’re saving money every year. Solar panel utility will he highly dependent on financing terms.
  • Third, get an electrical vehicle. Our Model 3 is the most efficient vehicle in the US. It gets 132 MPGe. Suppose you drive 12,000 miles in your gas vehicle and get 30 MPG. That’s 400 gallons of gas a year. Each gallon is 8 lbs of carbon dioxide. That’s 3,200 lbs / 1,454 kg of CO2 a year saved, assuming you charge your EV fully from solar. If you leased a 3 from Tesla, you could get one for $4,500 down and $349 a month for 36 months. The other options are cheaper and save more CO2.
  • Last, Tesla Powerwall or equivalent battery system. A Powerwall after tax credit is about $10,000. The usable capacity is 12.2 kWh. If you were able to use and fill up the battery every day that’s 12.2 x 365 or 4,453 kWh. Our local electricity cost is 0.17 a kWh. That’s about $757 in savings every year. It will take 13 years to get paid back. As a comparison, our solar system in 3+ months has produced 6,420 kWh of energy.
Tesla Powerwall cost as of 4/12/23

Even though those energy tech options are cool and hip, probably the best value for your money is getting your house weatherproofed and better insulated. Energy efficiency is underrated. Another option is replacing all your light bulbs with LEDs. They’ll generate less heat and use less electricity.

As with most things in life, we did it in reverse. We got an EV first, then solar panels, then heat pump water heaters. We left out heat pump systems for heating and cooling. We’ll cover that another day and update.

Sincerely yours,


Copyright © 2023 smilingdad. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of smilingdad, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.

Published by smilingdad

My story is one of tragedy and redemption. We've made many mistakes along the way regarding our money. Our goal here is to show you how to take care of your money life long, and as much as we can, help the Earth along the way. I call it sustainable personal finance and ethical capitalism. Currently, I am a part time writer for Cleantechnica and part-time licensed financial professional, along with being a full-time dad.

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