Clare & Eugene Cordero

Building the future with a 3-step plan


Year built: 1928
Location: Mountain View, CA
Type: Cottage Craftsman
Details: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, 800 sq. ft.


icon of the function of a solar power water heater

Solar hot water system
Connect your tankless electric water heater to a solar-powered system to lower costs

icon of a heat pump mini split

Solar air heater
Reduce energy use by supplementing a heat pump HVAC in winter


Induction Cooktop
Cook better, faster, safer and healthier than gas without releasing harmful pollutants into your home

icon of smart thermometer

Home energy monitor
Control temperature in every room in your house to maximize energy efficiency

couple standing outside their home


When they moved into their 1928 two-bedroom one-bath house in October 2008, Clare and Eugene wanted to make some energy efficient improvements because of their deep concern over climate change. They did some research and came up with a simple three-step plan to reduce their carbon footprint and GHG emissions:

Step 1: reduce energy demand
Step 2: electrify everything
Step 3: get their electricity from renewables

For step 1, they reduced energy demand by upgrading the insulation in their walls, floor and ceiling, as well as installing double-paned windows and installing a fireplace plug. For the second step, they chose the most energy efficient appliances and lighting they could find and then electrified all their home systems, including a heat pump HVAC, rooftop solar hot water system and an induction cooktop. And for step 3, they installed a 4kW solar system on their roof. “My husband is a climate scientist, and we both care deeply about the environment. So we wanted to demonstrate that we could take a fairly typical home and through our three-step plan, dramatically reduce our carbon emissions while also creating a more comfortable home, without a huge investment. Our biggest surprise was how effective we were at reducing energy use through Step 1 and Step 2. Our daily average energy use dropped from about 23kWh per day before the remodel to about 7 kWh per day after the remodel.”

Clare & Eugene / Homeowner