2023 Winneshiek Energy District Home Tour, June 10th

Tour area homes and learn about solar installations, heat pumps, energy efficiency, and sustainable building practices!

Winneshiek Energy District is excited to partner with six Decorah area homeowners for self-guided tours, Saturday, June 10th from 1-4pm. Visit as many as you can in an afternoon (or perhaps all!) and come away inspired to implement these practices at your own home. Participants are free to come and go as they please, and homeowners will be on-site to share their experiences.

Dan and Linda Canton, 2746 West Ridge Rd, Waukon (roughly 13 miles east of Decorah)

Off-grid, 6.0kW solar, 5.0kW lithium iron-phosphate battery backup, backup LP generator, air source heat pump for AC and supplemental heating, in-floor heat, electric riding lawn mower, electric chainsaws, timber frame, energy efficiency, and much more!

Built with efficiency in mind, this timber frame, off-grid home features 6.0kW of solar connected to 5.0kW of lithium iron phosphate battery storage, a wood stove for heating and cooking, and mini split and in-floor radiant heat for backup. The Cantons have developed several creative solutions to combat the challenges of living off grid, like “banking” solar production through preheating and precooling, utilizing an electric riding lawn mower and electric chainsaws for harvesting wood.


Chris Frantsvog, 504 Jefferson Street, Decorah 

4.0kW solar, ductless cold climate air source heat pump, hybrid heat pump water heater, newly constructed energy efficient addition

This modest 19th century brick home coupled with a newly constructed SIP panel and brick veneered addition features rooftop solar on both the house and garage, a multi-zone Mitsubishi cold climate ductless heat pump, and a hybrid heat pump water heater. Old and new held in balance!

Rolf and Laura Peterson, 109 Crescent Ave, Decorah

Ducted cold climate heat pump, 6kW rooftop solar, wood stove, soon-to-be installed hybrid heat pump water heater

This home typifies what whole-home electrification might look like for those of us living in existing mid 20th century homes. The Petersons are in the final stages of converting all systems to electric and they plan to cap the gas line once the new heat pump water heater is installed. Two years ago the Petersons installed 6kW of rooftop solar and swapped their gas furnace with an LG ducted air source heat pump. Come learn from the Petersons and be inspired to do the same at your house!

Porter House Museum, 401 West Broadway St, Decorah

4.5kW rooftop solar, four ductless heat pumps for climate control

Lack of climate control is the death of any museum collection. Come see how the Porter House Museum solved this vexing problem without adding financial strain to the organization’s bottom line. 4.5kW of rooftop solar paired with ductless heat pumps for air conditioning and shoulder season heating were designed and installed to complement this 19th century Italianate home, all while reducing the museum’s electric use. 

Kevin and Leslie Sand, 2597 Quarry Hill Rd, Decorah

14kW pole-mounted solar, two ductless heat pumps

Concerned with the amount of propane required to heat their home (and to say nothing of its ever increasing cost!) the Sands installed 14kW of pole-mounted solar and coupled it with two ductless cold climate Mitsubishi heat pumps. The Sand’s home is a great model for those trying to implement electric heating without existing ductwork.

Perry-O and David Sliwa, 2918 Middle Sattre Rd, Decorah (roughly 5 miles north of Decorah)

4.5kW solar, 1.5kW wind generator, plug-in hybrid vehicle, double wall construction, triple pane windows, passive house principles, in-floor electric heat, ductless heat pump for supplemental heating and AC, and much more!

Incorporating the lessons from living off the grid for forty years, the Sliwas built their retirement home in 2016 with efficiency as the guiding principle. The thoughtfully designed home features numerous passive house concepts like superior levels of insulation, winter solar gain through plentiful south-facing windows and summer shading through extended roof overhangs, and optimal site orientation. Requiring minimal energy to heat and cool, all systems are electric and are offset through on-site solar and wind production.


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