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July 2013 Chapter Event

Topic:  Residential Energy Retrofit Tour

When:  Friday, July 19, 2pm
Where:  Montgomery, Ohio

Attendees examined retrofit energy features including addition,  exterior insulated window shades, exterior EIFS insulation, new  superior windows & doors, even more environmental landscape.

The Cappels moved into their Montgomery Ohio residence in 1996 and quickly experienced the inefficiencies of a 1970s uncomfortable house.  At an even billing cost of $185 per month, utility costs were 6 times the Cappel's previous 1920's house in Cincinnati.  Initial changes involved easy improvements like efficient light bulbs and fireplace insert.  By 2001 the low hanging fruit had been picked and the family realized the house no longer fit their needs.  Instead of moving, they decided to address the shortcomings of the house.  The guiding principles were to improve Comfort, Appearance, Safety and Efficiency.  A master plan was developed with a local architect and the family began a program of annual capital improvements.  Among Cappel's consultants and designers was AEE SW Ohio's residential chair and high-performance home designer John Robbins, CEM / CSDP, who provided additional energy consulting and drawings for some of the remodelling and additions.

John Robbins explained his handout detailing Cappel's large energy use reductions 2004-2012

Mike Cappel talked about his energy, environmental, improved comfort and safety objectives

The Cappel household won the 2008 Montgomery Energy Challenge by achieving the largest percent reduction in energy use compared to 2007.  Cappel achieved 32.6% reduction in natural gas, 31.8% reduction in electricity.  Averages for the Challenge were 4.9% increase in natural gas usage, 11.7% decrease in electricity.  The Cappel household also has performed well in Robbins' Ohio Valley Household Energy Surveys, achieving in one survey year "superior" ratings for both per-sf and per-person low energy use.  Of the 252 annual home energy data samples so far in Robbins surveys 2001-2012, only 20 from 6 household have achieved this dual distinction.

Cappel led attendees around the outside of the house, explaining & answering many questions. He also led our tour inside his home, showing and explaining all the improvements.

Homeowner and meeting host Mike Cappel is a lifelong resident of Greater Cincinnati, holds degrees in Environmental Science, Natural Science and History from the University of Cincinnati where he currently studies Communications.  Mike's professional experience includes 4 years in water quality testing as well as 25 years in MSD's Division of Industrial Waste, where Mike currently works as an Industrial Investigator.  Mike's current responsibilities include inspecting, permitting, enforcement, quality review, process improvement, project management and review of federal regulations.  Mike's personal interests include his family, cooking, early 20th century history and energy efficiency.  Mike's longtime interest in energy efficiency stems from his days studying forestry early in his college career.  In a reading assignment he learned that each year enough wood falls to ground in the United States to provide all the energy needs of the world. 

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