Archive for August, 2009

How to Spend $0 on Utility Bills

Simple! Go solar!!

Even in the northeast, it’s possible to rely completely on solar energy to power your home. Not only that, but it’s cheaper than ever before. With recent advancements in technology and improved production methods, the cost of solar is coming into parity with the regular cost of electricity. Add in the various state and federal tax rebates and incentives and you could recoup the installation cost within months – then start making money by feeding excess electricity back to the grid!

Here’s a very rough and simple example, using my own latest utility bill.

  • Latest monthly kWh usage = 295
  • Desired result: 100% solar power
  • Required system size: 2.84 kW generation
  • Average sun radiance (Arlington, MA) = 4.31 kWh/meter squared per day – this is the average power the sun would generate for my location in about one day.

Based on very rough estimates from the solar power calculator at, I would need at least 283 sq. ft. of roof surface covered in solar panels at an estimated $22,718 initial installation cost. BUT – after the Massachusetts and Federal tax rebates and other incentives, the final cost to me would be roughly $5,833!

You may think that still sounds expensive, but as a Massachusetts resident, consider this: $5,833 divided by my average monthly utility bill of $75 results in a payback period of roughly 78 months. Keep that number in mind, because here’s the good part: Massachusetts residents can take advantage of the MassSAVE HEAT Loan program, which provides for a loan of up to $15,000 at 0% interest with a 7-year (84 month) payback period. Taking out a $5,833 loan at 0% interest and paying it back over 84 months would make your monthly payment just $69.00! Sure – it may only start off as a $6 monthly savings, but consider the good you’d be doing for the planet, reducing your carbon footprint and saving vital resources at the same time.

Also, consider the fact that utility rates will increase over time but the cost of the sun’s rays won’t. In that case, you’ll inevitably save even more each month. Don’t forget the increase in your property value – another $9,880 – $18,671! Finally, with the projected lifespan of today’s solar equipment to be 15-20 years, you’ll more than end up making money with your new solar-powered roof, whether or not you sell your property within that time frame!

For more information on solar power and a listing of some local Eastern Massachusetts solar vendors, visit my web site at

Until next time, Peace!



Arlington MA Real Estate Arlington MA Homes for Sale Cyber Green Realty

Planning to invest in Energy Star-rated Arlington, MA real estate? Let Cyber Green Realty be your guide to the market and the community.

via Arlington MA Real Estate Arlington MA Homes for Sale Cyber Green Realty.

Energy Efficient Home Seminar – Cambridge MA

Energy Efficient Home Seminar
Thursday, August 27, 2009 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Qdoba Mexican Grill – Porter Square Cambridge
5 White Street – Porter Square Shopping Center, Cambridge, MA

How to Make Your Home Green And Save Some Green

  • Learn about Solar and Geothermal energy options!
  • Learn how the Energy Audit process works!
  • Learn about building or rehabbing a green home!
  • Learn how to finance it all!

Green homes use much less energy, fewer resources, and are healthier for families living in them. In fact, one of the top reasons cited by consumers for wanting to green their home is the desire to create a healthier environment for their families.

Come and enjoy FREE Mexican food and dessert while you learn something new!


  • Ben Mayer – Sunbug Solar, Inc.
  • Mike Duclos – Energy Efficiency Associates, Inc.
  • Kevin Loos – Boston Green Building, Inc.
  • Jeff Chin – Independent Mortgage, Inc.
  • FREE! But please register ahead of time so we know how many to expect. Registration is easy! Thanks!

    Homeowners: Before putting your home on the market, you have a great opportunity to make some energy efficient improvements, increase the value of your home, and sell it faster in today’s market as more and more people are looking for energy improvements in their home. Even if you’re not thinking of selling your home right now, you’ll benefit from the reduced energy costs and improved home comfort.

    Home-Buyers: You can qualify for more home and a higher mortgage amount (without higher monthly payments!) by participating in an Energy Efficient Mortgage program. When you’re looking at a home to buy, have an energy audit conducted at the time of home inspection and have the suggested energy-efficient improvements rolled in to your mortgage! Not only does this save you money from the very first month of ownership, but you continue saving money each and every month thereafter with reduced utility bills and greater home comfort.

    Sponsored by: Tim Cahill, EcoBroker – RE/MAX Heritage and Cyber Green Realty

Arlington, MA Apr-Jul 09 Housing Sales Trends

In these swiftly changing times, it’s hard to look at one month’s worth of data and try to predict what’s coming next. But if we look at three month’s worth of data, usually considered a “trend,” we begin to get a more clear picture of the direction of the market.

Here’s what’s happened with Single Family and Condo units in Arlington, MA from April 2009 through July 2009:

  • Total April Sales (in units): 27
  • Total July Sales (in units): 72
  • Avg. Days on Market in April: 77
  • Avg. Days on Market in July: 43
  • Avg. Sales price, April: $441,992
  • Avg. Sales price, July: $451,813
  • Sales Price/List Price Ratio, April: 98%
  • Sales Price/List Price Ratio, July: 99%

So what does this tell us? In short – the Arlington market is making a rebound! As you can sell, total number of sales increased 167% over the April to July period, while the average days on market fell by 56%. The average sales price increased by an overall 2% in the same period, while the SP:LP ratio increased to 99%, meaning the listing prices of homes are almost spot-on with market demand – so there’s not much wiggle room for negotiating your price.

In short – NOW is a great time to buy while rates are still at historical lows, inventory is getting tighter and prices are starting to rebound.

So jump on in – the water’s fine!


Check Out the First Eco-Friendly, Luxury Condo Built in Somerville, MA

Perhaps you’ve tired of me always writing about how you can improve your current home to be more energy efficient, or how you can improve a fixer-upper to be more energy efficient and eco-friendly, but what about buying something brand spanking new that’s eco-friendly and perhaps even LEED or Energy Star-rated? With that in mind, I thought it’s time to start highlighting some of the new green construction that’s already available in the Arlington/Cambridge/Somerville areas. So today I’d like to draw your attention to 55 Endicott Ave. in Somerville, MA.

Built by GFC Development Corp., a leading ‘green’ real estate development and construction firm serving the Greater Boston area, “Endicott Green Residences” is a luxury, eco-friendly condominium located in the heart of Somerville. Less than a mile to Davis Square and easily accessible to public transportation, Endicott Green Residences represents a landmark building, and is the City’s first ‘green’ luxury condominium.

Recipient of the 2009 Green Building of America Award, Endicott Green Residences is currently under review by the U.S. Green Council to receive Silver LEED certification. Upon approval, Endicott Green Residences will become one of only 30 homes in the City of Boston with this distinction! Imagine how proud you’d be to say you live in such a residence!

“With a lack of eco-friendly housing available in Somerville, we set out to create a cutting-edge, green design that was far from the boring ‘box’ structures associated with efficiency homes,” said Charles Aggouras, president of GFC Development Corp. “We partnered with architectural firm MZO Group, who did an outstanding job of bringing innovative ideas to life. From the roofing to the walls, flooring and appliances, we have seamlessly integrated top-of-the-line brands, custom lighting, and all the fine touches to merge luxury living with sustainability. People will be amazed at how easy and low-maintenance ‘green living’ can be.”

Endicott Green Residences was built with a total of three (3) units; currently two are for sale and one is under agreement. All units are approximately 1,500sq. ft., have 2 to 3 bedrooms with 2 baths, 2 dedicated parking spaces, and a roof deck or patio. Each unit is equipped with ENERGY STAR-rated, leading brand name appliances, 96% AFUE-sealed (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) combustion boilers; professionally designed tiled baths by Geologica of Boston’s acclaimed Design Center and lighting by the “Best of Boston” award-winner Lucia Lighting & Design.

Just look at how beautiful this condo is:

Beautiful Kitchen

Beautiful Kitchen layout

Condo Overview

Condo Overview

Condo layout

Spacious layout

For more information on this condo or other green and eco-friendly living options, please visit my web site at to search for homes for sale or condos for sale with energy efficient and eco-friendly features in Massachusetts.

I look forward to highlighting more eco-friendly housing options for you in my coming posts. There are more than you might think!

Until next time, Peace!