PORT BYRON, Illinois-- A Quad Cities area homeowner has managed to save 90% on his monthly energy bills, and predicts he'll soon be saving even more.
Jack Achs is a housing pioneer. On the outside, his home is pretty. Inside, it's pretty powerful. Achs lives in an almost completely energy-efficient house. He earned that title by meeting three qualifications.
Achs' home is Energy Star certified, built to LEED platinum standards, and will soon be what's called "Net Zero," as soon as solar panels are added next summer. "Net Zero" means the house generates more power than it uses... almost erasing Achs' entire energy bill. By this time next year, Achs suspects that he'll have negligible bills to pay Mid-American Energy, other than the unavoidable "connection fee."
Becoming energy efficient happened just one room at a time. In the kitchen, all the appliances are "energy star" and all the lights are "L.E.D."--- two changes any homeowner can make to lower their bills.
Achs' basement is a different story. Down there, Achs has what is called an "ERV." It looks like a giant metal tube. It's purpose? To take out the "bad air" and take in the "good air."
The home also has a storm shelter designed to withstand an F-5 tornado.
Each year, Achs opens his home up to the community, hoping to share his vision-turned-reality with his neighbors.
Some of those neighbors visited today, like Tom Linson. Linson told us he likes what he sees, explaining, "What I see is really impressive. And the things they've done to be energy efficient are even more impressive."
While impressing others is nice, Achs is happy with the home he's built for his family, telling us, "This is a dream come true... to build an energy efficient, net zero house."
Achs' home is the first in the Quad Cities to meet all 3 levels of energy qualifications.