Thursday, October 23, 2008



Last week I visited a former client who has become a dear friend. She and her husband are building a home on the North Shore that stands as a testament to exemplary entrepreneurship, very hard work and an understanding of what it means to think outside of the box in all ways that matter.

The home my friends are building has become nothing less than the talk of the town and word has spread throughout the region that something extraordinary is happening at their address that can have great impact on all addresses all over our country.

As a result of their research, and resources, not the least of which includes the fact that the “man of the house” is a brilliant engineer, this couple has freed themselves of the sources of energy to which our country has become so addicted. In fact, their home uses the sun and technologically advanced insulation in such a way as to produce their own energy within their home.

To illustrate the enormity of their success, consider the cost of electricity, hot water, heat, or air conditioning, per month for the average 2500 square foot home. Some of the most cost effective homes still pay close to $1,000 per month if not more for basic energy needs and the figures are increasing.

My friends’ home is more than 12,000 square feet of living space. They have had non stop crews going round the clock with massive equipment and miles of extension cords, generators, water usage, six crews of master carpenters drawing constantly on electricity for months, plasterers, tile craftsmen, masons, electricians, plumbers and the list of craftsmen drawing down on energy is mind boggling.

They showed me their utility bill for the month and I had to sit down to absorb what they have created. They did not owe one dime for the huge amount of energy that had been used. The utility company OWED THEM! These pioneers have become completely self contained, energy efficient, and because they have generated their own “home grown” energy, they can sell it back to the utility company….and they do.
I remember how I felt when I first saw Disneyland’s “Home of the Future” at Epcot. My eyes widened and I could not close my mouth. I felt exactly the same way as I stared at the massive kitchen ceiling. Several conical shaped openings flooded the room with sunshine in between the recessed lighting. All the light bulbs in the home are energy efficient. There are special solar panels on one section of the roof and several rows of aluminum like tubes on a section of roof in the very back of the house. The innovative apparatus is placed in such a way so as not to detract from the splendor of the mansion.

The property collects, stores and uses its own energy. All excess energy created is sold back to the utility company.

As I was walking around the back of the property, a passing helicopter was descending just low enough to take a closer look. When I looked to see if anyone else felt as if he were in a James Bond movie, a workman merely said “Oh that happens all the time when they fly over this house.”

The folks who will reside in this home are very special. They have made a very good living keeping people safe in their homes and businesses. Before someone you love can be harmed by an intruder, the equipment that my friends produce, install and monitor exists to prevent the intrusion and identify the perpetrator. Their company is as known and respected world wide as are they as great humanitarians.

After protecting thousands of families in their homes over the years, they have now led the way toward freedom from the madness of dependence on foreign energy sources.

The municipal light company that services the community in which they reside have all but taken up residence during the construction phase. They are learning as much as they can from this remarkable couple who have used their heads and hearts to make the world a safer place while generously sharing the superior technology they understand and embrace.

It is more important now than ever that we learn how to become more energy efficient in our homes whether we build them or renovate them. Google such phrases as “green house technology” or “eco-friendly homes” for example and surf through the internet to see an explosion of information for your review.

Being held hostage for energy by foreign countries is absurd especially for Americans. The more I see in Real Estate, the more I believe that American homes are going to be healthier and more cost efficient as time goes by. We will lead the way as we always do and other countries will follow. How did that song go? “It’s a small world after all. It’s a small world after all. It’s a small world after all. It’s a small, small world.”

Janet Hilton is a Broker/ Realtor and a former practicing Attorney and Critical Care RN who, with her husband George Hilton, a retired North Shore firefighter owns and operates REMAX Country Crossroads at 144 Newburyport Turnpike in the Rowley Plaza. For excellent Real Estate assistance, call 978-948-5333 or visit