Monday, March 17, 2008

Encinitas 101 Coordinator Peder Norby Off the Grid (almost)

Carlsbad man builds zero energy house

By: DAVE DOWNEY - Staff Writer

CARLSBAD ---- For those who live in this upscale seaside city, it's hard to miss Peder Norby. He's the big, jovial, 40-something guy who tools around in an open-air, oversized golf cartlike car to the beach, church, bank, post office and grocery store.

And he never has to go to a gas station.

"My gas is our sun," his license plate frame explains of the solar energy that powers the batteries that run his car.

Norby, 46, the former executive director of the Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association and who is now coordinator of a Highway 101 restoration program, plugs into the sun through an outlet in his garage.

That outlet taps into the 4.4 kilowatts from 21 solar panels on his roof that also provide energy for the home that sits on a half-acre overlooking Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

"It's a zero energy home," Norby said. "That means it produces as much energy as it uses."

read the rest of the article here.


  1. Wouldn't it be something if Encinitas City Government's 93 million dollar fund could fund a solar program that buys the panels and lets us lease to own? That way homeowners could get off the grid.

    Just help us. Who wouldn't want to live like Peter? Even the most closed minded in our community would love to live without utility bills. The only thing that stops any of us is cost. Right?

    I guess it is possible there are citizens who want to pay for fuel and electricity.

  2. It sounds like he is a man of principle. I, for one, am glad he is working on our side. At least I hope he is.

  3. On a recent service call to dial in Peder's 1947 Seeburg jukebox (a model affectionately called a "trashcan" because of it's barrel shape, and which also deserves a picture on this blog), I got the tour of Heron House. The solar panels are an inspiration.
    Peder was born to restore, enhance and improve things. We're lucky to have him as 101 coordinator.

  4. Fred repairs jukeboxes??? Is there anything Fred can't do??? We are lucky to have him on the 101!!!

  5. We don't have to be lucky to have Peder. We pay him $100K a year. You need to make that much to afford the luxury of going off the grid.

  6. I knew we couldn't go too far without someone complaining...

  7. 4:36pm

    I suppose his wife is overpaid also as the Principal of a school?

    The article said the home was built in 2006. Norby started in 2007 with the city.

    good for them and I wish them both well

  8. I, for one, think it is inspiring that he can do all that he has done. It's great that he cares for our City and is willing to work on helping us. He seems to be worth every dime of what we are paying him.

  9. Peder is well worth more than $100k. We are getting our money's worth considering he is split between three communities mainstreet efforts.

    Great Job Peder keep on being funky! Not Junky - Pure Funky!

    We are glad to have you in Leucadia and all of Encinitas.

  10. Peder, I'm very impressed, you really do walk the walk. I'd love to see a pic of the electric car and understand more about the system you installed. Very forward thinking, we will soon see much more of this type of development.

    I would love to see much more commercial development that employs solar PV. There are very simple and elegant solutions to integrate a PV array into a building elevation (BIPV), or integrated into existing infrastructure (parking structures, fences, embankments). Lots of possibilities.

    Very cool Peder.

  11. I wrote about having a proactive city that would help more people be conscientious, to lead sustainable lives. This was not an either or comment about Peder. I applaud what he has done and I should have stated that from the onset. My point is that it would be wonderful to think we didn’t just have heroes we looked up to, but we all could be a united force in our community and country.

  12. Hi All ,

    I have generally tried to keep my private life separate from my professional life.

    Our energy engineer, our solar installer, applied for an industry award called a Sandee (the application is a technical document with calculations and tables and reports) to the California Center for Sustainable Energy. This is the group that does the solar rebates from the state and other energy programs.

    To our great surprise, our home was selected as the recipient of the homeowner award. The CCSE then did press releases announcing all the winners and that generated the media coverage.

    I agreed to the coverage to support the CCSE and their mission of sustainability, as well as to hopefully inform others to some degree, what can be done to save energy. On that note, the energy savings are actually around $600 a month compared with a similar size house. We reduced our consumption 75% by designing a passive solar home with an efficient building envelope, a lighting package that is 80% more efficient than incandescent lighting, energy star appliances, no conditioned air, tankless water heater and several other systems including ground cooling for the cellar. It was the last 25% that we erased with the solar P.V. system that is the savings of $160. A solar P.V. system is the last thing that should be done only after being as efficient as possible because of the high expense. It really is cheaper to save energy that it is to make energy.

    We began planning our home nearly four years ago with life savings and equity. It was and continues to be a great journey with terrific folks involved.

    I will provide J.P a pic of our electric car as well as our Jukebox. Fred is my jukebox hero and helped in the restoration process of a classic 1946 Seeburg jukebox (it’s filled with music from the 40’s)


  13. Peder Norby is a carpetbagger shill for the Downtown Merchant's and now gets paid by the City to directly funnel all their demands right through the city council. The all too cozy relationship between our city council and DEMA is unethical.Believe me follow Leucadia Resident's Peter Nordy and the Downtown merchants he represents COULD CARE LESS about your needs. I lived downtown up until 4 years ago and believe me DEMA could care less about the resident's. Peder Nordy is PAID to care about Encinitas. If he didn't work here we would never see him again. That's it bottom line.By the way I think his off-the=grid house in Carlbad is great.


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