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October 2015 Chapter Event

Topic:      Residential Energy Tour:  Efficiency Upgrades + Solar PV
When:      Fri Oct 23, 2015, 2pm
Where:     Montgomery, Ohio (private residential address shared only with RSVPs)
Cost:        None

Mike Cappel hosted a residential energy tour at his home in July 2013, when attendees not only saw and heard about the many improvements to his home but also heard about Cappel's strong commitment to reducing his family's conventional energy usage.  Since July 2013 the Cappel household has continued its quest, adding more insulation and airtightening, plus an almost 10 kW PV array on their roof.  Mike will explain and show the new PV system in detail and tell us how much it is reducing his utility bills.  


The Cappels moved into their Montgomery OH residence in 1996 and quickly experienced the inefficiencies of a 1970s uncomfortable house.  The even-billing cost of $185 per month was 6 times the Cappel's previous 1920's house in Cincinnati.  Initial changes involved easy improvements like efficient light bulbs and a 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.  With focus on improving comfort, appearance, safety and efficiency, a master plan was developed with a local architect and the family began a program of capital improvements.  Among Cappel's consultants and designers was AEE SW Ohio's residential chair and energy-focused home designer John Robbins CEM / CSDP, who provided additional consulting and drawings for remodelling and additions.

Cappel's 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.  Cappel's household also performed well in Robbins' Ohio Valley Household Energy Surveys, achieving in one year "superior" ratings for low energy use both per-sf and per-person categories.  Of Robbins' 252 home energy data samples 2001-2012, only 20 achieved this distinction.

Mike Cappel is a lifelong resident of Greater Cincinnati, holds degrees in Environmental Science, Natural Science and History from the University of Cincinnati.  Mike's professional experience includes 25 years in MSD's Division of Industrial Waste, where Mike 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 in college.  In a reading assignment he learned that each year enough deadwood falls to ground in the USA to provide all the energy needs of the world.

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