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For Michael Strizki, living off the grid doesn’t mean living without luxury. Strizki is the president of Genmounts PV Mounting Systems, and he used his renewable-energy expertise to create a living environment for his family that is both environmentally friendly and comfortable.
Strizki has been off the grid since 2006, when he disconnected his 15-year-old Hopewell, N.J., home from the electrical power grid and began using renewable energy.
In a video for The American Road Journal (see below), Strizki says that his home’s power is derived from 56 solar panels installed on his garage. This system is so efficient that it produces significantly more energy than his family uses during the summer months. The excess energy is run through an electrolyzer, which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. Oxygen is released into the air, and the hydrogen is stored in propane tanks. With the use of a fuel cell, the stored hydrogen provides heat and electricity to Strizki’s home.
A geothermal heat and air conditioning system, which uses compressed groundwater to cool the house and excess heat to warm the household’s water, saves Strizki’s family an estimated $2,400 a year.
The entire energy retrofit was very expensive, but Strizki’s family is reaping the benefits. The house boasts a swimming pool, hot tub and big-screen TV, proving that eco-friendly can also be cushy.
For the whole scoop, watch The American Road Journal’s video featuring Michael Strizki below.
Lindsey Siegele is the Senior Web Editor at Ogden Publications, the parent company of MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Find her on Google+.