Affordable net-zero housing unveiled in Easton
EASTON, Md- 9 new units of affordable net-zero carbon emission housing were unveiled Saturday afternoon in Cambridge, with each unit costing roughly 1,100 dollars a month in rent per household.
The houses take advantage of insulation, special windows, and efficient design to help passively heat and cool the homes in addition to traditional HVAC and heating. The units sit on a closed grid powered by solar panels atop the homes, with enough power per panel cluster for each unit to reach net-negative emissions over the course of a year.
Director of Talbot County Housing Commission Director Don Bibb says the units are the first of their kind in Maryland, combining multi-family unit zoning with the net-zero emissions. He tells us the units will also help to cut down on utility bills, as they run fully on electricity and come with a projected 1,500 dollars of yearly savings for tenants.
“By reducing the carbon footprint and doing all-electric energy here we are also passing the savings to the public because people would typically have to get assistance and utility allowances and now they don’t need them,” he said.
The town was able to help finance the construction of the apartments and will fold the 600,000 dollar debt into their long-term budget planning.
Energy Designer for the units Jessica Pitts tells us that the first development came with some unique challenges, but now that the construction is complete, they are able to take the lessons learned and apply them to future projects.
“The first project is always the most challenging and once you have the skills you can take that and apply it to new configurations, these are 9 units but there is no reason that we can’t scale to sets of 5 or more, you take the baseline of design here and expand it out to more in the future,” she said.
The first tenants are set to move into the units starting June 1st, but slots still remain available.
Bibb tells us those looking to apply can contact the Talbot County Housing Commission and fill out an application form.