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Kenosha ‘green’ house is almost 100% off the grid

Posted at 9:28 PM, Jun 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 23:27:26-04

KENOSHA — You can recycle, you can compost, you can buy LED light bulbs.

But if you're into the environment, a home in Kenosha will make you "green" with envy.

For starters, Keith Dreger handed over a corner of his yard to the sun.

"We've got an acre of land and it's not much to give up for what we're going to get out of it," Dreger said.

Steve w panels.jpg

The panels in his yard are enough to generate 12 kilowatts of power.

That's enough to keep the lights on and the house comfortable on all but the most extreme days.

"We should be able to get most of our power, at least 90-95 percent, if not more," he said.

Solar Storage.jpg

It helps that Dreger's life is pretty energy efficient to begin with.

That includes a car in the driveway that plugs in and runs on batteries.

"In summer, I'm 230, 240 mile range. Which is more than enough," he said.

A geothermal system in the basement heats and cools the house with energy from deep beneath the ground.

Geothermal System.jpg

"I don't have an air conditioner outside. It's all one unit," said Dreger.

The basement is also where the batteries live, saving all that solar power for a rainy day and cutting this home's energy bill from $200-plus a month to nearly nothing.

"I believe it will be less than $10 a month on an average, so that's the goal," he said.

It's a savings that comes at a cost.

Dreger expects it could take 12 years of low energy bills before he breaks even.

It's an investment in the future he's happy to make.

"I tend to be an environmental person. I believe we should give the earth back a better place than we did it," he said.

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