Archive for August 2012

So I’ve been touting the all electric house pretty heavily in my last few blogs.

While it makes complete sense from a logical standpoint, in my opinion anyway, it makes no sense from a realistic point. In fact in California it’s illegal to build an all electric home because it doesn’t meet Title 24 standards. Title 24 if you’ll remember is how the State of California guides builders towards building greener and greener homes. Homes have to meet minimum standards of energy savings to be allowed a permit. In other words homes that eat up too much energy can’t pass Title 24. Every few years the State updates Title 24 and increases the minimum standards.

If everyone had an all electric home, our poor power plants couldn’t produce enough electricity to run them, and even if they could, it would pump so many carbon emissions into the air, we’d make China look like a Green country. And even if the power plants could produce enough electricity to run them AND they produced zero carbon emissions, the sheer cost of all that electricity at today’s prices would make the all electric house prohibitively expensive for the consumer. Their electric bill would be outrageous.

I realize I’m making no sense. If all electric homes are illegal from a title 24 standpoint, AND would cause power plants to work overtime and pump tons and tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere speeding up global warming, AND would cause every homeowner living in one to pay astronomical electric bills to operate them, why on earth are we building them?


We figured out a way to make it all work without violating Title 24, without forcing power plants to work harder, actually REDUCING the amount of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, actually REDUCING the amount the homeowner spends every month for utility bills, and, most importantly, we’re providing this for free. The home buyer doesn’t pay ONE PENNY more when they buy this amazing new home. So how does that work?


It starts by eliminating gas. There is no natural gas in the community. Turns out that saves a bunch of money. Then you put a big enough solar system on the roof so that a majority of the power required to run the home is supplied free of charge by our friend the SUN. If you’ll remember from a previous blog, I pointed out that for years now, the water heater, furnace, dryer and cooking appliances have used natural gas as their source of power because of its lower cost. In fact probably 98% of all homes built today have natural gas powering these four vital components. There are electrical alternatives to each of the four but as I said earlier they use too much juice and would never pass Title 24. So although we’ve eliminated gas and put a large solar power system on the roof, we had to figure out a way to deliver the same quality and comfortable living standards from the four former gas components that all other homes enjoy. We did figure it out.

Actually what we did was go one better on most of them.

More about that next time.

Until then



The Green Builder’s Journal is written by Herb Gardner, President of City Ventures Home Building Group. Herb has 30 years experience managing the building of residential and apartment communities in over 60 municipalities in 3 different states.

A big proponent of in-fill communities and the urban lifestyle Mr. Gardner has extensive experience in all aspects of residential home building, ranging from land acquisition to warranty management, he specializes in managing teams of people in delivering communities on time, on budget and to the quality standards the marketplace demands.

For Questions, Feedback or observations you can Click here to Email Herb