Rising Energy Costs Create Demand Baltimore's Federal Hill Row-House Model for Nation

(ANNAPOLIS) Mar., 2012— Stevensville, Md. based NEXUS EnergyHomes has installed the first sun-tracking solar device on the rooftop of a row house residence on Federal Hill in Baltimore. "With electricity prices reaching unprecedented rates, American home owners are demanding better energy choices," says NEXUS CEO and President, Paul Zanecki. "This sun-tracker system is the first of its kind to offer higher performance results that make it that much easier to reach electric net-zero goals," he said.

The Dual-Panel Tracker (DPT) manufactured by Advanced Technology & Research Corp., which is based in Columbia, Md., consists of two 235 Watt solar panels attached to a sun-tracking mount affixed to the roof. An advanced GPS-controlled drive unit rotates the panels to follow the sun and capture 30 to 45 percent more energy than conventional fixed panels on a flat roof.

Rising Energy Costs Create Demand
In 2010 alone, Maryland residential customers paid an average of 24 percent (14.32/kW) more than the national average (11.54/kW per hour).* USA Today reported in December that 2010 marked the fifth national consecutive yearly increase in electricity rates, adding an average of $300 per year to household electricity bills. That trend is expected to rise over the next decade.

Solar Lowers Electric Bills
Carl Chirichella, the row house home owner and an engineer for ATR, was initially intrigued by the technology but says the financial incentives were also very compelling to him as a homeowner. "Utilizing the dual-panel tracker is an innovative solution to generating on-site renewable energy within the small footprint that city living affords," he says. Chirichella can expect to see a nearly 20 percent reduction in his electric bill with just the one dual-panel system installed so far. But he can add more at any time. Five such systems would allow him to achieve an electrical "net-zero" balance for his home—eliminating the electrical bill, and potentially offering him energy credits, that if unused, can be returned for use by the BGE utility grid.

Financial Incentives
Financial incentives beyond the reduction or elimination of power bills include solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs), clean energy grants, and residential renewable energy tax credits. These incentives combined with monthly energy savings will allow homeowners to recoup their solar investment in about 5 years. After that, the system is paid for and will supply free electric power for many years.

Consumer Acceptance
"The Federal Hill area is a perfect market for this technology, and our installation at the Chirichella residence allows us to provide accurate documentation of the savings that will be achieved by ATR's Dual-Panel Tracker, since Mr. Chirichella is one of their engineers," says Zanecki. Home to many tech professionals and earth-conscious progressives, Federal Hill residents are looking for ways to reduce their reliance on fossil-fuels, and live a greener, more cost-efficient lifestyle, while still enjoying the vital urban lifestyle Baltimore has to offer.

NEXUS is the winner of the EnergyValue Housing Award® 2012 Builder of the Year, affirming the company's vision to lead the nation as a model for energy-efficient homebuilding. NEXUS was also awarded the EVHA New Homes Gold Award for Production in Moderate Climate.

About Nexus EnergyHomes
The NEXUS EnergyHome provides every new home-buyer with the opportunity to own a home that meets NetZero Standards —a home that offers the ability to be figuratively "off the grid" and produce as much energy as it consumes. After years of research and testing with the NAHB, and through NEXUS EnergyHomes' complex construction process using proprietary designs, innovative materials, and the very best of modern technologies, NEXUS EnergyHomes is making a revolutionary change to the way homes are constructed in America. Simply put, NEXUS EnergyHomes is the first company to make these technologies work in perfect harmony in a single family home, and at a rate comparative to conventional homes currently on the market.

NEXUS EnergyHomes offers custom homes throughout the United States, and currently has GeoSolar communities in the Mid-Atlantic, Frederick, MD, Three Creeks in Centreville, MD, Wisp at Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland and Philadelphia, PA. To learn more about NEXUS EnergyHomes, neighborhoods and communities, or Nexus custom homes, please contact us at 410.604.2870 or visit

Featured Product

Seaward PV210 Solar Installation Test Kit

Seaward PV210 Solar Installation Test Kit

The Seaward Solar PV210 PV installation tester provides a highly efficient and effective test and diagnostic solution for PV systems, carrying out all commissioning tests required by IEC 62446 and performing fast and accurate measurement of I-V curves in accordance with IEC 61829. With direct connection to individual PV modules or strings using the supplied lead sets, tests can be conducted easily and within a matter of seconds at the press of a single button.