In 2001, we came up with the bright idea to leave England and build a new home in
Maine. Maine has nice warm summers but the winters are long and cold, so an energy
efficient home can save a lot of fuel costs. Ann is a US citizen with family links
to Maine and Chris is British. The idea was to buy land, then build on it in 10-15
years or so for our retirement.
We homed in on a beautiful area of Downeast Maine, near to Acadia National Park and
Bangor, and with the help of a solar architect found the perfect lot.
Once we bought the land, we became so excited that we wanted to get started right
away. From there, it was just a few short leaps from finalizing the drawings, to
getting a construction loan, to contracting our builders, - and here we are today,
in a planet friendly home. And we’re ten years ahead of schedule!
Keeping it simple
We set out with the aim of building an energy efficient home, without going over
the top. We don’t have three feet of insulation, or an array of solar panels the
International Space Station would be proud of. We just wanted something that would
allow us to lead a typical modern lifestyle, while using less energy than the average
home in America. We were on a limited budget, and we’re not the most practical people
in the world, so if we can do it, anyone can!
Sharing what we’ve learned
We recently took part in Maine Solar Day and had lots of visitors, who had many questions.
It seemed that there might be people all around the country who might be interested
in what we have done. So we thought it would be useful to build this site so that
we can share our experiences.
In the ‘Our solar home’ section, we describe our experiences of designing and building
our green home. If you are not looking to build a house, but wish to make your home
more energy efficient, check out the ‘How to save energy’ section. Here we describe
what we’ve learned that could be put to use in almost any home, plus a number of
resources which might be useful to you.
We’ve also featured some of the products and services we’ve found particularly useful
in the Resources section. If you choose to purchase any of these yourself, by clicking
on the links we provide, you will be helping us fund the ongoing development of the
site - thank you.
We will continue to add information to the site, including calculators and guides,
with links to products and services that we have found useful. We hope that this
helps you in your thinking. Good luck.