Congressman helps unveil "near zero" housing development

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

Congressman Hal Rogers joined the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation and other state, federal and local partners today to unveil some high tech homes where people might actually make money for living in them.

Organizers said this has been three years in the making. On Thursday, May 24, there was a dedication ceremony for the near zero home development in Whitley County.

Congressman Hal Rogers joined many in unveiling five near or "net zero" homes in the Emlyn Community of Whitley County.

Rogers, who helped sponsor one of the two grants that made the homes possible, said these homes are part of the future of energy in both the region and the nation.>

“This project, these projects here, I think will lead the way in teaching us how to save energy,” said Rep. Hal Rogers (R) Fifth District.

So what is a net zero home?

“A net zero home is a house that generates as much energy as it uses,” said Housing Director Tom Manning-Beavin of Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation.

Nearly three dozen organizations partnered to create these homes, which some said will end up paying off in the long run for the homeowners.

“They don't burn any energy, they are so well insulated,” said Rogers.
“In fact, as we have heard, many of these residents will get a check from the power company rather than paying an electric bill.”

Manning-Beavin said the homeowners will earn 12 cents per kilowatt generated, which usually equates to around $400 to $500 annually.

All of the energy used in the homes is generated by solar panels. County officials said they believe it is a step in the right direction.

“It can better the lifestyles of our citizens, as energy becomes more and more expensive, the more efficiently we use it, the more money we have to spend on other things that we need,” said Whitley County Judge Executive Pat White.

Though one is still under construction, all of the homes have been sold for around $110,000 to $115,000

The entire project was made possible with grants and loans totaling $1.2 million.

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