Also the revised edition of The Renewable Energy Handbook focuses on the unique requirements of off-grid living as well as using "green" energy for homeowners who remain connected to the electrical utility.
Zero Energy Homes and Solar Power
A Zero Energy Ready Home is a high performance home which is so energy efficient, that a renewable energy system can offset all or most of its annual energy consumption. The more than 300 days of sunshine a year at Las Vegas Ranch provides the perfect location for building zero energy home powered by solar.
Here are some useful links about designing and building a zero energy home and using solar to reduce your energy costs:
If you do use solar energy, there may be times, especially if you have a zero energy home, that you are producing more electricity than you can use. Arizona Public Service (APS), through a concept called "net-metering" allows you to move this electricity to their power grid with compensation. For more information, contact APS.
Solar Water Heater
Solar water heaters are a very cost effective way to produce hot water for your home. Modern solar powered systems can be configured to run completely on solar energy and have no delay in hot water even when cloudy. This can save you hundreds of dollars per year on operation and maintenance costs versus a typical electric or natural gas system. Click below for more information.
Las Vegas Ranch has mild and consistent wind averages of 6.4 mph making it an excellent location to install a wind powered well pump! Click the links below to learn more about wind powered energy systems.
Federal tax rebates, State tax credits, and solar and wind energy incentives are available to save money for solar water heating, photovoltaic, and wind energy system installations. Click on these links to find out more:
In Arizona, "solar devices" can be sold to Arizona customers without having to charge state sales tax. See the Arizona Solar Center website for more information.
With the average depth to water of the wells drilled at LV Ranch at just over 100 feet (shallow by Arizona standards), installing a solar water pump, taking advantage of free power from the sun, is an attractive option. A quality solar pump system is reliable, requires no fuel, doesn’t harm the environment, can be left unattended for long periods of time, requires very little maintenance, and has no running costs.
Particularly in the arid southwest, water is a precious resource. Conservation of water is a top priority for any sustainable building project. Low-flow fixtures and appliances, rainwater harvesting, grey water re-use, low water use (drought resistant) plants, and water-efficient irrigation systems are all ways to reduce water consumption.
Las Vegas Ranch has an excellent climate and productive soils, perfect for gardening. It is in USDA Hardiness Zone 7b: 5F to 10F. The average first frost is between October 11 - 20, while the average last frost occurs between May 11 - 20. We average 61 - 90 days per year where the temperature exceeds 86°F.
Ready for Spring Planting; A Garden in Las Vegas Ranch