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Homeowners reveal how they transformed their way of life and practically power their home for free: 'We are living proof'

They took a year to design their plans before building their home.

They took a year to design their plans before building their home.

Photo Credit: iStock

A Michigan couple has taken "clean living" to a whole new level.

In an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, Jon and Mindy Miner of Rockford, Michigan, built their home in 2009 to be completely carbon-free. In an interview with WZZM13 in 2022, the couple explained that their home features solar-powered roofing, geothermal heating, and bamboo floors to eliminate their contributions to Earth's rising temperature.

"We are living proof that you can live in Michigan, drive an electric car, have electric heat and make it affordable. This way we do not do as much damage to the planet," Jon said.

"We read about climate change and we take that seriously and felt like we needed to do our part," Mindy added.

The Miners took a year to design their plans before building their LEED-certified home. As explained by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED-certified homes reduce energy and water consumption and, on average, cut the cost of utility bills by 20-30%, with some homes saving up to 60%.

WZZM13 noted that the Miners' home doesn't require much energy due to its insulation, but the couple went even further to make the home environmentally friendly. They have appliances that replace the need for gas, such as an electric induction stove. They built the walls and floors out of renewable resources, and their yard is filled with native plants and natural landscaping.

However, the secret to the Miners' success is a device called an inverter.

"Our inverter takes the electricity from the solar panels and converts it into 240-volt AC and puts it into our electric panel, allowing us to generate electricity year-round from the power of sunlight," Jon explained. "On sunny days when we make more energy than we use, we export it to the grid and get credit for that. Our Consumers Energy credit builds up during the summer when we're not heating our home and we use up the credit in the winter when we need our electric heat."

Jon also said that the home doesn't solely rely on solar power, adding, "Our geothermal unit circulates water through the ground with an environmentally friendly antifreeze and that brings in the warmth from the ground into this unit here, allowing us to heat our home and water."

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