California program gets kids on site to learn about energy efficient homes

High school students in Northern California who take part in the Humboldt Regional Occupational Program (HROP) have the opportunity to gain real world experience and build upon skills that can help them with careers in home construction for the future.

Since the program's inception, students and faculty have taken part in the construction of more than 20 energy efficient homes. They recently completed one of the states' greenest residential properties this past month.

More than 30 students from Arcata and McKinleyville high schools participated in the build, which took the team roughly two and a half years to complete. It is estimated that the new home will sell for around $325,000, with an estimated $50,000 of that cost being derived from energy efficient appliances and upgrades.

"This project provided real-world experience in a safe environment, and an opportunity for the students to learn valuable job skills," said HROP Instructor David Enos.

The students were involved in all aspects of the homes construction, including the installation of siding and roofing material, wiring the house for electricity and mapping out an environmentally friendly HVAC system.

Along with real world experience, the students were given the opportunity to earn cash credits through hours spent working on the project that they could use to purchase their own tools.

It is estimated that whoever moves into the new student-built-home will save exorbitantly on utility bills in the future thanks to the self sustaining features, such as solar panels, incorporated into the houses design.

For homeowners looking to decrease their energy consumption, a home inspection contractor can help point you in the right direction.