From Historic to Sustainable: How One Park Slope Resident Transformed Her Home

Like many Park Slopers, Stephanie Doba is concerned about sustainability.  She long ago replaced all her light bulbs with LED’s, subscribed to a wind- and solar-generated electricity supplier, and upgraded her house’s insulation, but she wanted to do more. So for the last several years she has been transforming her 10th Street home, which she purchased 25 years ago, into an energy-efficient showplace of sustainable technology. 

She installed solar panels on the roof, an air-source heat pump system for quiet whole-house heating and cooling, and traded in her Prius for a Tesla Model 3. All benefited from government incentives and save her money on operating costs. Still on the agenda: replacing the gas stove, old water heater and clothes dryer with counterparts that run on electricity. 

Stephanie enjoys the superior performance and comfort of the new technologies. She also takes satisfaction in the knowledge that by ridding her own home of fossil fuels, she is not just talking the talk, but walking the walk, on sustainability and climate. 

If you have been contemplating similar changes but didn’t know where to find resources, visit Heat/Cool Smart Brooklyn, a non-profit outreach service. There you can ask questions and sign up to have your home evaluated for weatherization and clean heating and cooling options. It’s a great place to start!

The heat pump condensing unit in Stephanie’s backyard provides both cooling and heating. She discarded her window air conditioners and hasn’t needed to run her gas furnace.
Whisper quiet air handlers, one per room, let Stephanie control the temperature of each room individually. 
After snagging the parking spot in front of her house on alternate side days, Stephanie charges her electric car by just plugging it in, either to a regular 110V outlet or, for a faster charge, to a 220V outlet she had installed in her cellar.  There are also public charging stations in the neighborhood and on the road.
Stephanie’s house is in the Park Slope Historic District, so solar panels cannot be visible from the street. Even with a limited number of panels, electric heat and car charging, solar provides most of her electricity.