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Will I Save Money with a TerraWise Home?

The simple answer is, YES!  You will save money every month with the energy savings you have in your home.  A comparable home built by any other builder not utilizing the construction methods and energy savings measures we use in our TerraWise Net Zero Energy Homes will have a greater monthly cost to the utility company.  The amount of money saved per month will depend on many factors, but it will be substantial over time.  Enjoy saving money with your TerraWise Net Zero Energy Home!

Historic Springfield homes generate own electricity, feed into JEA’s power grid by Jacksonville Times Union

Historic Springfield homes generate own electricity, feed into JEA’s power grid
By Tiffanie Reynolds
Tue, Feb 10, 2015 @ 7:18 pm

On North Liberty Street in the Springfield Historic District, looks can be deceiving.

Rows of tall, two-story houses line the road, complete with either stone front steps or a sweeping front porch, looking almost exactly like homes that have stood in the neighborhood for decades.

Almost.

But, rows of solar panels tucked on the roof hint at something a little more modern inside.

Called Net Zero Energy homes, the Springfield houses are designed to provide a net electricity cost of zero by the end of the year. Along with other energy-efficient features, officials with builder TerraWise Homes say what makes these homes really stand out is an alternative energy source. The solar panels on the roof of the house are connected to JEA’s electric grid, and, through net metering, homes are given credit for any additional energy they are generating into the system. For example, if the home generates more energy than it uses during a month, that amount is translated as credit with JEA. That credit goes toward any electricity bills that exceed the amount of energy the home generated.

This give and take every month is designed to average out to zero at the end of the year, coining the name Net Zero Energy. Alternative energy sources can also be wind or hydro-electric.

David and Melody Shacter, head of TerraWise, started on these energy-effecient homes two years ago. Back then, that section of North Liberty Street had four empty lots and two abandoned homes. They bought the whole section, including the abandoned homes, and started from the ground up.

Working with the Historic Preservation Commission, the Shacters had to work with standards that require new homes to conform to the look and design of the older homes in the district, and the designs for each of the eight homes was approved by the commission before they were built. They also worked with the commission to preserve and renovate the older homes to energy sustainable standards.

“It’s very eclectic,” said David Shacter. “You have all levels of economic and social in Springfield, and we just felt that the same kind of buyer that would want to buy in Springfield is the same kind of buyer that would want a house that’s a little different.”

And Springfield hasn’t proven them wrong. Out of the six new houses TerraWise has built, all but two of them are sold. That doesn’t come as a surprise to Sara Boren, executive director of U.S. Green Building Council of North Florida. In the past few years, she has seen a bigger want for energy-efficient power sources, especially solar. The declining price of solar systems also helps, but the challenge is making alternative energy sources easier to pay for as a utility and recognized as an added value to the house. She says that TerraWise is a leader in helping homeowners combine the cost and installation of the solar panels with their mortgage, and USGBC of North Florida is also trying to pass a bill called PACE — Property Assessed Clean Energy — that would attach energy-efficient improvements to the property tax on the house or business. Options like these, she says, doesn’t tie the cost of energy to one person, and allows it to stay on-property even after the person who installed the improvements moves away.

“I think it’s coming. There’s a lot of players that want to do it, and it’s not rocket science,” said Boren.

On top of installing solar panels to these homes, other energy efficient improvements include:

■ Completely insulating outside walls and inside the roof to keep running air in, lowering the cost of heating and cooling.

■ Installing energy-efficient windows and more windows in the house to bring in more natural light, limiting the need for electricity.

■ Purchasing energy-efficient appliances.

■ Installing LED lights.

■ Landscaping with native plants, reducing the need to run outside irrigation.

Read more on this article here…

Homebuilder reclaims old house & saves energy – Jacksonville Business Journal

TerraWise Homes - President David Shacter - Article JBJ - March 6, 2015 Special Report

TerraWise Homes – President David Shacter – Article JBJ – March 6, 2015 Special Report

March 6, 2015, Special Report
Jacksonville Business Journal
BY ANDREW THURLOW
athurlow@bizjournals.com
904-265-2219, @JBJandrew

TerraWise Homes Inc., an energy-efficient homebuilder with developments primarily in Springfield, started nearly two years ago, buying old houses in the historic district and rebuilding them into energy-efficient homes.

David Shacter, president of TerraWise, said that when he first started the business, he looked at several neighborhoods on the Westside before he decided, “Springfield was the perfect match.”

“Springfield has a really tight knit community, and the residents look out for each other here,”·Shacter said. “We’ve never had anything stolen from a job site here. We built a home on the Westside last year and had about $4,000 worth of damages caused to the home.”

“There’s a lot of untapped potential in Springfield in restoring old homes,” he said.

The company has twp homes finished and closed, three under construction – two of which are sold – all within walking distance of each other on the . east side of Main Street. The homes range in price from $156,000 to $400,000.

The team recently finished renovating a Net Zero Energy townhome, which is also for sale. Net Zero Energy refers to homes with solar energy systems where, if they generate more energy than the home uses, they get a credit from JEA.

The refurbished homes are built with energy- efficient features such as solar panels on the roof and spray-foam insulation that keeps the home air-sealed. The company also equips each house with argon gas- filled windows, high-performance air conditioners and Energy Star appliances.

“The two largest uses of electricity in a home are air conditioning and water heating,” Shacter said. “We use a very high-efficient AC system and water heater. We do everything to lessen the electric load on the house and then we put the solar panels on.”

“Similar companies offer solar panels, but no other company does it the way we do,” he said.

Although each house is connected to JEA’s electric grid, homes are set up using net metering, a billing mechanism that credits homeowners using solar energy systems for power that’s added to the grid.

“If your home generates more energy than it uses during the course of a month, then we get a credit from JEA. Hence the term Net Zero Energy,” Shacter said.

The typical size of a solar panel is between 5,000 and 6,000 watts, which can cost between $16,000 and $19,000 before a tax credit. For tax returns through 2016, if you put solar on your home, he said, it qualifies for a tax credit of 30 percent of the total cost.

The company recently teamed up with local homebuilders Dostie Homes and D. S. Ware Homes for a 200-plus-Iot community development project in the Oceanway neighborhood on Jacksonville’s Northside. Cedarbrook, a 57-acre development, will be near the River City Marketplace and Jacksonville International Airport; the community will offer a variety of architectural styles, including energy-efficient homesites.

Construction on the first phase of the project, which includes streets and infrastructure, has recently been completed, with 73 lots laid out. TerraWise is building 17 of them and Dostie and D. S. Ware are splitting the balance.

Dostie and D. S. Ware model homes are complete and Shacter’s model home is slated to be finished by mid-April.

Cedarbrook homes will range from 1,800 square feet to more than 3,000 square feet with prices ranging from the $200,000s to the $400,000s.

Jacksonville homebuilders team up for 200-plus development in Oceanway neighborhood by Jacksonville Business Journal

Jacksonville homebuilders team up for 200-plus development in Oceanway neighborhood

Jan 6, 2015, 3:10pm EST Updated: Jan 7, 2015, 8:36am EST

Reporter- Jacksonville Business Journal
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TerraWise Homes has teamed up with local homebuilders Dostie Homes and D.S. Ware Homes for a 200-plus lot community development project in the Oceanway neighborhood.

Cedarbrook, a 57-acre development, will be located on the Northside, near the River City Marketplace and Jacksonville International Airport. The community will offer a variety of architectural styles, including energy efficient homesites.

Construction on the first phase of the project, which includes streets and infrastructure, has recently been completed, with 70 lots laid out.

Two of the three model homes are under construction and slated to be finished within about a month, said David Shacter, president of TerraWise, an energy efficient homebuilder with developments primarily in Springfield. A TerraWise model home is expected to be complete this spring.

TerraWise started nearly two years ago, purchasing old home lots in Springfield and rebuilding them into energy-efficient homes. The company has four homes finished and three under construction all within walking distance of each other on the east side of Main Street.

Homes will range from 1,800 square feet to over 3,000 square feet with prices starting at $200,000s to $400,000s.

Development costs are estimated at $50 to $60 million.

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Energy-efficient homebuilder TerraWise finds a home in Springfield by Jacksonville Business Journal

Energy-efficient homebuilder TerraWise finds a home in Springfield

Mar 6, 2015, 6:00am EST
Reporter- Jacksonville Business Journal
Email  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn

TerraWise Homes Inc., an energy-efficient homebuilder with developments primarily in Springfield, started nearly two years ago, buying old houses in the historic district and rebuilding them into energy-efficient homes.

David Shacter, president of TerraWise Homes, said that when he first started the business, he looked at several neighborhoods on the Westside before he decided, “Springfield was the perfect match.”

“Springfield has a really tight-knit community, and the residents look out for each other here,” Shacter said. “We’ve never had anything stolen from a job site here. We built a home on the Westside last year and …

Andrew covers real estate, retail and sports

Click here for the full article…