Retired high school science teacher puts $350,000 into energy-efficient home

These days, many people are converting to more sustainable lifestyles by making energy-efficient upgrades to their homes. Most of the time, the driving factors behind these choices are cutting costs and reducing one’s carbon footprint. For Olympia, Washington, resident Dennis Kaech, however, there’s more to it than that.

According to local source The News Tribune, the 69-year-old retired high school science teacher wanted to see how many “crazy things” he could put into his house, and has enjoyed coming up with the calculations to determine how much energy he can save by making certain upgrades to his home.

Kaech’s 1,400-square-foot house, which appears modest on the outside, has $350,000 worth of green technology features including windmills, solar panels, passive heat storage and insulation. These are all upgrades that have been made in the past five years, though Kaech has been living in his Olympia home since 1978.

Fortunately, Kaech was able to take advantage of federal incentives that give individuals tax credits for certain energy-efficient projects. He received 30 percent off the installation cost of his solar system, for example, and​for every kilowatt he produces until 2020 the state of Washington pays him 54 cents.

Kaech says he has no regrets about putting so much money into his home, and that he only wishes that he had done it sooner.

Maryland residents hoping to convert to a more energy-efficient lifestyle will be happy to hear that there are many rebates and incentives to take advantage of, including those available from Pepco and Potomac Edison. To get started, schedule an energy audit with a home inspection contractor, and they’ll help you determine the most effective ways that you can improve your property.