DERRY — A Derry home rich in energy-saving measures is featured on a house tour promoting "green" living.
On Oct. 2, Tom and Hope Minnon's home at 9 Datillo Road will be part of the Green Building open house event, hosted by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association.
Minnon is a founding member and former executive director of the group and also a past president. He now serves as chairman of Derry's Energy/Environmental Advisory Committee
His home joins a handful of others in New Hampshire on the tour, with more than 350 locations featured all around New England.
As head of the town's energy group, Minnon practices what he preaches and has worked to make his 2,400-square-foot converted bungalow home an example of what can be done to help the environment while saving money.
Minnon bought the home about a decade ago and has invested about $150,000 in green technology. About 30 percent of the home's electricity comes from solar sources, including a 2KW solar PV system, along with installed solar hot water.
Other building features include Energy Star appliances, geothermal heat pump, rain barrels, recycled materials on the roof, bamboo flooring, wool carpeting, kitchen recycling center, composting, and a National Wildlife Federation-certified wildlife habitat in the front area of the home, featuring a koi pond, minimal turf areas, and many species of indigenous flower, shrubs and trees.
Minnon said a homeowner can do many things to make a difference and help the environment. Many simple changes can be made in the home, but also outside, like using a neutron-battery lawn mower to cut down on gasoline use.
Utilizing what the Granite State offers puts a homespun spin on the house, Minnon said. New Hampshire fieldstone is a natural accent to the landscape, while recycled Granite State glass became kitchen tile.
The savings continue with solar panels warming the house on sunny days, and a geothermal system keeping the home heated and cooled, depending on the season.
While giving a tour of his home earlier this year, Minnon said he saved a lot of money on energy upgrades, thanks to federal and state "green" incentives. The solar power system installed last January cost $17,000, but Minnon said he paid about $3,000.
"More and more people are doing this," he said. "And there's a lot of payback. I'm not burning oil, I'm not buying foreign oil. To me, that's important."
Last year, Minnon said about 70 people came to Datillo Road to tour his home.
Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on tour day. Call for directions and details at 432-7782 or e-mail email@example.com.
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