Home >Article >Green Living in New Canaan, CT

Green Living in New Canaan, CT

Apr 13, 2012

About the Project

Nate and Etta Kantor wanted to live in a truly green home. The house they envisioned relied on solar panels to heat water and generate electricity; environmentally friendly “composting toilets” that convert human and household “waste” and save energy; a gray water system that reuses shower and sink water; and bioswale plantings that collect rainwater into barrels and underground cisterns to support outdoor landscaping.

To achieve their goals, Mr. and Mrs. Kantor wanted to work with a contractor who shared their vision of green living and energy efficiency, their concern for the environment, and their rigorous attention to detail as they undertook major renovations to their 5,000 square foot Adirondack-style cabin.

That is why the Kantors turned to RESNET member Steven Winter Associates.

Analysis and Upgrades

Steven Winter Associates (SWA), a RESNET member and RESNET Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index certifier since 1998, used energy modeling and consulting to help the Kantors narrow their viable options for the thermal envelope, HVAC and fixtures. Comprehensive inspections helped identify construction techniques that could be enhanced and final testing confirmed the value of third-party oversight.



Key Benefits

The Kantors have realized their dream of green living, with upgrades to their house that were initially estimated to reduce household energy bills by 79 percent – a savings of more than $4,800 annually. After living in their home for more than a year, the Kantors report that they have saved even more than anticipated. They also report that their energy-efficient home is extremely comfortable and quiet.

For more on the Kantor’s project, read their story in The New York Times.


The RESNET HERS® Index rating provided an easy-to-understand, accurate assessment of the energy efficiency established in the Kantor home. The Kantors were very pleased with the work SWA performed and would recommend their services to otHERS® looking to improve their home’s energy performance.

According to SWA, its RESNET certification has been crucial to implementing the programs most popular with clients like the Kantors. Those programs include LEED for Homes, National Green Building Standard, and Energy Star Homes.