Every good greenhouse needs an adequate supply of water, lots of windows, plenty of sunshine and crystalline silicon solar cells?
At least, that is, if you want to have a green house.
Christian Grieco owns what from the outside appears to be a normal suburban home on 71 Henderson Road in Glenmont. However, how the home gets its energy is not the norm; at least until more Americans attempt to get off the grid." It becomes apparent what separates Grieco's humble abode from the neighbors once you walk in his backyard.
"My son's Xbox now gets its power from those," Grieco said pointing to his rear roof covered with 32 solar panels.
Grieco said he has cut his electricity bill by more 70 percent and his natural gas usage by 52 percent through the use of solar electricity, solar hot water, "super insulation," ultra-efficient windows, passive solar heating and cooling, and a soapstone high-efficiency wood stove.
Between new energy-saving windows and foam insulation, Grieco said his home retains 48 percent of the energy is captures from Mother Nature.
Throw in electric lawn mowers, a Plug-in Toyota Hybrid Prius that gets more than 100 miles to the gallon, and few other energy improvements, and Grieco is well on his way to claiming energy independence.
Both candidates for the 21st Congressional District to replace outgoing Congressman Michael McNulty, D-Green Island, made an appearance at Grieco's Glenmont home Saturday, Oct. 4, in order to tour a prototype of what future residential homes could look like and to pitch their own plans for America's energy future.
Democratic candidate Paul Tonko, the state's former energy chairman in the Assembly and former CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, attended the first round of the tour flanked by Bethlehem Democrats Supervisor Jack Cunningham and Councilman Kyle Kotary.