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Local homeowners’ long road to net zero pays off

February 24, 2015 @ 7:00 pm

Local homeowners’ long road to net zero pays off

Kurt Reinhart
Net-zero house—A house that produces as much energy as it uses.  Imagine that—no utility or heating bills.  After a Maine winter and a $5,000 oil bill, Kurt and Joanne Reinhart started dreaming.  “There had to be a better way,” said Kurt.

Six years of thinking, self-study and design were followed by some 100 site searches leading to the construction of their 2,100 square foot house near Hamburg, PA. The Reinhart’s design and decision process will be part of a free talk at the February 24 meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association.

Solar orientation, passive solar design, insulation, air sealing and heat flow will be discussed as parts of the systems that make the house perform so well. Kurt will discuss his heat flow calculations and building material choices.

Air conditioning and heat for the house is provided by two Mitsubishi mini-split heat pumps that are powered through a 5000 watt grid-tied PV system.  The super insulated, air-tight house is constructed with R-40 structural insulated panels and includes an air-to-air heat exchanger for ventilation.

The one-and-a-half-story house, built on an insulated concrete slab, was constructed in a year by Folino Homes, a certified green builder with the National Association of Home Builders. Folino converted Kurt’s cad design to construction plans and provided the necessary attention to detail for the house to achieve net-zero.

This is the first winter in their new home and the Reinharts are pleased. “A husband and wife team—on a mission to save the world, one house at a time.”

We hope you can join us for this interesting talk by Kurt Reinhart on Tuesday, Feb 24 at 7:00 in Breinigsville, PA (between Kutztown and Allentown) at TEKPark. We are delighted to have him! For detailed directions, please visit https://themarea.org/. Meetings are free and open to the public.

After the meeting, please plan to stick around and chat with friends old and new. We’re also interested in your ideas for MAREA speakers, activities and services. Light snacks will be served. Hope to see you there!

For questions, contact Vera Cole, <a>[masked]</a> or [masked].

Free DVD with MAREA membership  While supplies last, all new and renewing MAREA members will receive a free copy of “Saving Sunshine, Keeping the Lights on with Batteries and Solar Power,” the 30-minute DVD produced by MAREA this year with funding from the Berks Community Foundation and distributed by Bullfrog Films. It’s terrific film, offering an interesting and easily understood explanation of the electricity grid and distribution generation, especially the role of batteries with solar. MAREA is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Donations and memberships are how we keep the lights on. You can join at the meeting or anytime online. Thanks for your help. 


February 24, 2015
7:00 pm
Event Category:


TEK Park
9999 Hamilton Blvd.
Breinigsville, PA 18031 us


Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association (eastern PA)