From a story by Matthew Perenchio in the Jackson County Chronicle:

BROCKWAY — When Tom and Verona Chambers were looking for a place to build their home, all they really wanted was a spot with a good view, a hill and some water nearby.

And for what they found that Mother Nature created naturally, they’re giving right back.

The Chamberses are in the midst of constructing what will not only be an energy-efficient home in Brockway but a net-zero energy home as well — meaning it has the potential to produce as much energy as it uses.

“It’s actually quite easy to do but not done much,” said Tom, who is the principal at Black River Falls High School.

“I’m not really one to freeze or sit by a little light, and I’m certainly not someone who hunkers down in a quilt on cold nights and doesn’t move,” said Verona, who teaches German and world culture at Tomah Middle School. “What I wanted is some dang, darn good living at an affordable price.”

That type of living, as the Chamberses will show, can be Earth-friendly.

The entire project started in 2007, and original plans were to include solar panels, and, in the state of Wisconsin, electrical companies buy any excess energy that is put back into the electrical grid.

In the case of the Chambers’ house, they were hoping their solar panels would produce as much electrical energy as they used — making the residence a net-zero home — and any extra electricity produced would go to help other energy uses on the grid.

Many solar-powered and energy-efficient businesses and homes around Wisconsin, including western Wisconsin, will be open to the public during the Wisconsin Solar Tour on October 3 and 4.