This month's column by home economist James Dulley, published on the HomeFront page Thursday, focused designing and building on a "net-zero" energy house.
One of the challenges of constructing an abode that produces as much energy as it uses during the year has been diminishing returns. Dulley noted a home which used 80 percent less energy would cost 20 percent more to build. Past that, the ratio reversed; gaining that last 20 percent of energy savings would require an additional investment of 80 percent.
As energy costs rise, construction techniques improve, home designs evolve and the cost of solar and wind energy sources fall, those numbers change.
And residents of our area can see, in person, just how these elements can combine to create a house made to be a net-zero energy home. It's called Little Portion Green and it's at Franciscan Earth Literacy Center.
In the middle of Seneca County visitors can discover how a home can be made to use as little energy as possible - while making utility bills all but disappear.
To find out more, visit felctiffin.org/?page_id=59.