Adelman Residence 

Location: Poway CA

Property profile:

Energy Efficiency, HVAC, And Solar PV


2500 Sq. Ft. residence in Poway, CA. Approximately 30-year-old custom track home. Two adults, two children. Initial electric load 4,250 kWh per month

Project Origination:

Client saw Mark on TV interview

Initial Response:

Performed comprehensive energy analysis

Property profile:

Energy Efficiency, HVAC, And Solar PV


Recommended Actions:

Son is an asthmatic and the house has been equipped with a special air filtration system that runs 24 hours that the customer wanted to retain. A high seer Air Conditioning unit was recommended and high efficiency furnace was recommended and has been installed. The attics are very poorly ventilated, additional gable vents and fan forced ventilators were recommended and installed in the garage and main attic.

The roof is a sensitive concrete tile roof and we were not able to install passive venting only more gable vents and power vents could be installed.

A central bathroom ½ horsepower fan system had been installed and was running 24/7. This system was put on a separate switch so it only ran when needed. The attic insulation was badly matted down and the windows especially the west facing are taking on a lot of thermal loading. I recommended high efficiency windows and the customer installed them.


All the appliances were 10-15 years old. All new Energy Star appliances: washer, dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher, and changing the electric range to a gas range were recommended and performed.

Parasitic loads and wiring problems:

We found numerous parasitic loads. There were four TV’s, a home office, computer peripherals, CATV boxes, surround sound and other parasitic loads that were discovered and mitigated with various techniques.

The electric service panel:

A Federal Pacific Stablock panel was in very poor condition and the house was partially wired with copper clad aluminum and aluminum wiring, breakers were arcing. The aluminum wiring was loose and had been arcing and was melting at receptacles. The aluminum wiring was repaired. The service was arcing and the breakers were in very poor condition and showed signs of arcing. The service was upgraded from 100 amps to 200 amps and the underground conduit was replaced. The service and aluminum was easily losing 5-7 KW per day in resistive connections and heat dissipation. These problems were resolved with treating the aluminum wiring with copper to aluminum terminators, adding a new electric service and proper grounding.


The lighting was all incandescent and there were five large 500 Watt pole type floor lamp touchier 500-watt quartz each for room lighting due to very poor overhead lighting. New touchier lights were recommended and installed that have 3-way compact fluorescent lights 32-42-52 watts. Color corrected lamps were obtained to match the former quartz lamps color. The client’s wife liked the soft light from the new fixtures and 90% less heat into the home to reduce thermal loading. Interior and exterior lighting were all changed to compact fluorescent. The monthly average load was dropped from 4250 kWh to 1750 kWh annual average.


The client had a very keen interest in making a dance and music studio out of the garage for his sons who are training to be a professional dancer and a professional musician. A high Seer air conditioning unit and lighting was added for the garage.

The client also purchased a RAV 4 EV that he had on hold pending the installation of his PV system. We sized the PV system to accommodate the AC loads and the RAV4 EV. A 11.4 kW Solar PV system was installed in 2001. At that time, it was the largest PV system to have ever been installed at a residence in California. The system was installed during the time of the rolling blackouts and the client opted for a battery back up system.

The client took advantage of the $4.50 per watt California buy down and with the electric rates having gone up over 400% since 2001 he will recover his system cost in another 2 years.