Seven homes and businesses in the Midcoast are part of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s Green Buildings Open House, Saturday, Oct. 2, from noon to 4 p.m.

In South Thomaston, Tom and Beth Goettel use solar electric and hot water systems installed earlier this year. According to information at the NESEA Web site, the 2.76-kilowatt grid-tied solar electric system is expected to produce roughly 3,700 kilowatt hours each year, and the 40-tube solar thermal system, paired with an 80-gallon storage tank, will produce roughly 80 percent of the family’s annual hot water demand. Together, these two systems will offset nearly 9,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

Keith and Mary Collins will welcome tour participants to BrightBuilt Barn, a LEED platinum certified net-zero home built with materials that are non-toxic, recycled and/or local to the region.

Andrew Stewart’s Hope General Store uses a 4.6-kilowatt grid-tied solar electric system to save money and demonstrate sustainable practices. Stewart said he used an equity loan to purchase the system and expects it to pay for itself within seven years.

Jens Ostergaard and Gia Yannekis of Lincolnville worked with G•O Logic of Belfast to build a home heated by passive solar gain and resistant electric baseboard, the use of which is offset by a 3.22-kilowatt grid-tied solar electric system. The solar electric system will produce roughly 4,300 kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy annually.

Steven Fein of the Bayside area of Northport said he built his grid-tied solar electric system in 1985, before much of the technology now available had reached the market. The home also features a gasification boiler installed in 2008. The setup includes an 800-gallon storage tank and coil for domestic hot water and backup heat is provided with a high efficiency wall-hung propane boiler.

Homeowners, designers and architects Ian and Zofia Weiss of Belfast built a centrally located home that features a 120-tube solar thermal space heating system paired with radiant in-floor heat, a Thermolec on-demand electric boiler and a wood stove for heat.

Alan Gibson and Matthew O’Malia are the principals of G•O Logic Homes in Belfast. During the Oct. 2 tour, visitors will be able to see the model home built as a prototype for the Belfast Co-Housing Project.

The 1,500-square-foot home was built at a cost of less than $250,000 and is on the verge of becoming the first certified Passive House in Maine. The super-insulated building is heated with the sun’s energy and features a 2.76-kilowatt grid-tied solar electric array and a 60-tube solar thermal system for domestic hot water.

Most of the buildings featured on the tour are super-insulated and use simple but effective ventilation and air transfer systems to provide fresh air and reduce heating costs. Builders and owners estimate heating performance at 80 to 85 percent better than homes using standard systems and construction methods.

To learn more about the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s Green Buildings Open House, visit the events link at the Web site at

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