Welcome. 17 years ago we set out on a journey to create a home that was sustainable for our children (my son Ian was born in 1992 and my daughter Claire was born in 1994). Part of that plan was to make the house a renewable energy power plant eliminating the need for any non-renewable energy sources. By 2001 we had built our award-winning sustainable natural home using local straw bales for the north wall, a green roofing system we custom designed, and passive solar design (click here for all the details on the design of our house).
Then in 2002 we selected Solera Energies to start building our renewable energy system in the form of a 1 kW Bergey wind turbine and a 400 W Siemens solar PV array in a net meter (running the meter backwards) configuration. Then in 2009 again working with Solera we added a 1.2 kW Sharp solar PV array on the Ontario renewable energy standard offer program (RESOP) for which we were being paid 42 cents/kW for 20 years.
Finally, to complete the 100% renewable energy goal and in order to turn the house into a power plant (generating more than we consume) we've added an additional 6 kW of Sanyo solar panels that complete the passive cooling awning system that has always been the planned design of the house. 5 kW of the new Sanyo panels and the 1.2 kW Sharp panels are now combined on a MicroFIT (the 1.2 kW RESOP system was grandfathered into the MicroFIT program upon request) contract for 20 years at 80.2 cents/kW generating about $500/month in income (the remaining 1 kW and the original 400 W Siemens panels will be used for some "off-grid" research and development projects related to an autonomous aquaculture system being designed and built for the greenhouse area in the house as well as an electric sailboat conversion).
Ultimately the goal is to switch to an electric car next year (finally it should be possible to buy them from your local Mitsubishi, Toyota, Chevy, Nissan, and other major manufacturers with the Ontario government giving you a $10,000 rebate as an incentive) to combine with our 35 foot 1974 C&C sailboat (floating cottage) which is being converted to electric so that both home, floating cottage and transportation are 100% powered by renewable energy power plants.
Bottom line is that installing a solar system on your roof offers one of the most important investments you will ever have the opportunity to make. You will make a better than average return on your investment while contributing in many ways to a sustainable future the value of which is beyond measure.
By joining thousands who have already put solar on their roof you become part of a movement that provides hope for our children. It has been estimated that if just 10% of us cover our rooftops with solar we could power the entire country...specifically the United States and Canada (who consume substantially more than European countries per capita). Imagine millions of us, making a reasonable investment of $200/month ($20,000 loan over 10 years) that will double our money in twenty years, while generating electricity without any pollution or fuel costs. While 90% of us want to protect the environment it is my belief that at least 10% of us are willing to invest now to make it happen. That gives me, and should you, a great deal of hope. We can do this.
So, now it is your turn. Let us get started. Here is what I suggest:
About John Wilson, the founder of NaturalLifeNetwork.com
Wilson Natural Documentary DVD
A great companion to this resource is a documentary DVD produced by John Wilson. If this information interests you, you'll love the documentary about how John Wilson built the Wilson Natural Home. Check out the documentary video that describes the entire process - click here.
Toronto Star article - Natural dream
“When it comes to living green, you can't do much better than the Wilson family. On most days, their hydro meter even runs backward at times, as they export electricity to Ontario's power grid. It's a great example of what one family can accomplish in doing what's right for the environment.” Toronto Star, August 30, 2003
About the Author
JOHN WILSON is an award-winning owner, builder and producer of sustainable homes and lifestyle media. He is the producer of Natural Living: The Wilson Natural Home documentary and the founder of the Natural Life Network (www.NaturalLifeNetwork.com). He lives in the Wilson Natural Home with his family near Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Meet the author, as featured on my house TV show
Want to learn and see more, buy the documentary video DVD
“Wow! Fantastic video, and a beautiful house too! I'm actually working on some straw bale houses myself right now, outstanding R-values. I'm glad you also mentioned that folks should look at savings first thru cfl bulbs, passive solar design, composting.... Great job! :)”
“Beautifully paced, well photographed, pleasant background music. And, most important, great information on how one family built an environmental house. 5 stars.”