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Island resident continues making his home more energy efficient

By Staff | Mar 21, 2012

Meghan McCoy Instead of using an oven or microwave to cook food, Jay Nygard uses sun ovens to prepare a meal in his yard.

A Bokeelia resident has gone above and beyond to ensure his home is energy efficient, which has saved him a lot of money over the years.

Jay Nygard, a mechanical engineer and president of Go Green Energy, LLC., purchased his home before Hurricane Charley hit the area in 2004. He said he made 15 trips in two years from his northern home in Orono, Minn., to ensure it would be energy efficient.

Nygard said it was time for him to start doing things again, since he was a stay-at-home dad for a while, along with planning ahead for retirement. He said electricity increases 10 percent each year, which he wanted to prevent for his family by making his home energy efficient.

“I am controlling my future,” Nygard said.

He said he hopes that when he is done he will only have to pay for his property taxes in the future.

Mechanical engineer and president of Go Green Energy, LLC., Jay Nygard, has transformed his home into an energy efficient home by implementing various solar powered devices.

“All the energy on the earth is because of the sun,” Nygard said.

The passion of finding new ways of becoming more energy efficient fully took hold of Nygard over the past couple of years.

“If I tell people they have to, I need to do it,” he said about making his home energy efficient, so he could show individuals how it works. “If everybody did their bit on their end, we wouldn’t be using our resources as much.”

The energy efficient measures are included both in and outside of his home.

“You start somewhere and you keep doing it,” Nygard said.

There are eight solar modules on each side of his roof. A solar attic fan is also on his roof to pull hot air through the attic, which cools down the attic and therefore the house. A 12-watt solar powered module also controls the ceiling fan on the front porch, which is completely free.

Nygard also installed an 80-gallon solar hot water electric pump for his home. He said he never has to pay for hot water because the pump circulates the water for free.

Instead of using a dryer, which warms a home, Nygard built a clothes line in the back of the house to use the sun to dry the clothes. He said by using a clothes line he is not subjecting his skin to the chemicals that are in dryer sheets.

The walls of his home are also insulated, which decreases the noise from one room to the next, along with the ability to shut off one room, which saves on heating or cooling the room if no one is inside.

Various rooms, along with the refrigerator and microwave, are on back-up generators that are all solar powered. Nygard said the power has gone off on them numerous times without them knowing because the solar power is producing more energy than they are using, therefore keeping the electricity going within the home.

The kitchen has also benefited from the solar efficiency due to sun ovens Nygard uses outdoors. He said instead of heating up the kitchen with the stove or microwave he uses the sun to cook meals for his family.

Nygard said it makes the best cookies because it retains the moisture within the treat.

Although the sun oven can reach 350 degrees, it all depends on the sun and clouds.

Thermal curtains are also placed throughout the home as thermal barriers, so the heat will not transfer within the home.

The nice thing about making a home energy efficient, Nygard said, is that when cost savings occur you can invest in another item that will further save you money.

“Take the money you are saving and do something more,” he said.

Before improvements were made to his home, Nygard used to spend $200 for his electric bill during August. Since the enhancements have been made, he pays $75 for electricity during August.

His motorcycle, lawn mower, car, truck and boat also benefit from the new lifestyle due to all of their batteries being connected to one five-watt battery that disperses one-watt to each through battery operated clips.

“You won’t have to keep buying batteries,” Nygard said, adding that his wife’s car battery will last eight years instead of four. “It saves money and prevents society to produce batteries or toxic waste.”

A Ponderosa lemon tree, lime tree, orange trees, banana trees and coconut trees also envelop his yard because he wanted to make use of things he could grow and eat to further save money.

Energy efficient lights are also placed throughout the outside and inside of his home.

In June, Nygard will include a vertical axis wind turbine to his yard to further generate electricity mechanically. He said as far as he knows there are none in the area.

“It is yard art with benefits,” he said.

Nygard encourages individuals to investigate what they can do to become more energy efficient at their home, along with researching what is available for them to use.

He said he is more than happy to show what he has done at his home to better educate those of the options available.

Those who are interested are encouraged to call Nygard at 952-334-6400 or email him at jtn@gogreenenergyonline.com. Information can also be sought on his websites www.gogreenenergyonline.com or www.mnwind.us