Johnson/Chronister Residence
City of Austin
Green Business Leader
Our Commitment to Sustainability

Elliot Johnson, has had a life-long interest in energy efficiency and sustainability. In Junior High, somewhere around 1982 he built a scale model of a passive solar home, including solar panels. Elliot took several class on sustainability while attending the School of Architecture at the University of Texas, and upon graduation worked with one of Austin's most respected 'green architects.'

Elliot and his partner Lisa built a sustainable home, rated five-star by the City of Austin's Green Building Program in 2005. The primary philosophy of the home was to be super green without compromising style and aesthetics.

Carbon Footprint

We recently calculated our carbon footprint and found that we are at 7.4 tons per year, well below the average Austinite of around 11 tons. The addition of more Solar PV will reduce this to around 5.1 tons per year.

Net Zero

Our entire home/office has utilized renewable electricity since 2005, through the City of Austin Green Choice program, whose source is the West Texas wind farms.

We have a total of 21.6kw of on-site Solar Photovoltaics producing 100% of our entire annual electricity. Since 2007 saving a total of 265,614 kilowatts over that time. Here are the monthly totals of the solar energy produced .

Daily Life

We religiously utilize cloth shopping bags at the grocery store since 1999, and at other stores when we can. Since 2003, 95% of our lighting has been LED. In 2007 we installed one of the most energy efficient hvac system available, geothermal, which also provides hot water for free during most of the 'cooling' months.

We have installed many water-saving features, including all native and drought resistant plants. We utilize reclaimed water as the sole source of watering for the limited turf-grass.

We try to source and purchase local products. I purchase most of my shirts from a local company, Moon Dog Shirts produced in Austin. We make an extreme effort to buy 'Made in the USA' where possible.

We have opted into Catalog Choice of Austin Resource Recovery to try to reduce our junk mail. We have switched to electronic billing adn paperless statements.

Austin Green Business Leader

Images Of... is participating in the Austin Green Business Leader Program and in 2013 attained a platinum rating with a score of 84. Even though we have been doing a lot of sustainable principles, Austin's AGBL has encouraged us to do more.

Future Goals

We continue to set new goals for increased sustainability. We installed rainwater catchment for landscape watering in 2015. We need to do better on composting and purchasing reduce packaged groceries.

We will possibly also install a small demonstration windmill.

In March of 2016 we purchased an electric car and slowly have been using up the COA AE credit. In late 2016, early 2017, unfortunately, a cold snap and extended overcast skies reduced our solar production!

Workplace sustainability

  • We source all new computer equipment, TVs, laptops, and appliances as Energy Star.
  • All computers are set to go into sleep mode when not used, and all printers are turned off when not in use, including the fax machine.
  • We maintain home/office thermostat at 70 degrees or less during winter and 75 degrees or more during summer.
  • Refrigerator temperatures between 35 degrees, freezer at 0 degress, and hot water heater at 120 degrees.
  • We encourage employees to work at home, utilizing telecommuting when possible.
  • HVAC equipment maintained annually. In addition, PV systems are cleaned annually.
  • Reduce unnecessary printing, encourage electronic communications where feasible.
  • We evaluate all purchases via an environmentally prefererable purchasing (EPP) policy to procure green products where feasible. We buy local when possible, evaluate the energy use of appliances and computers, and review the recycled content of consumables.

  • Electric Bills
  • 2006 - $162/month
  • 2007 - $131/month*
  • 2008 - $126/month
  • 2009 - $113/month
  • 2010 - $158/month
  • 2011 - $208/month*
  • 2012 - $127/month
  • 2013 - $11.77/month*
  • 2014 - $28.83Credit/month
  • 2015 - $14.35/month
  • 2016 - $5.20/month
  • 2017 - $18.22/month
  • 2018 - $93.13/month*
  • 2019 - $67.36/month*
  • 2020 - $22.33/month*
  • 2021 - $30.67/month*
  • 2022 - $71.65/month*
  • 2023 - $88.26/month*

  • *Our home/office is all electric, electric heat, electric hot water. In 2007 we installed a 3kw Solar PV system. In 2010/2011, we completed the second phase of our home/office. In 2012 we installed an additional 6.2kw Solar Pv system to offset the increased square footage, and in 2013 we added the final 9.2kw to complete the system. As of 2018 our personal tranportation is with an electric car and a plug in hybrid EV. And in 2021 we added another 3kw to offset electric car charging.

    On-site PV Array Kilowatts Produced
  • 2007 - 2,323 kwh
  • 2008 - 2,586 kwh
  • 2009 - 2,689 kwh
  • 2010 - 2,698 kwh
  • 2011 - 2,962 kwh
  • 2012 - 6,456 kwh
  • 2013 - 19,702 kwh
  • 2014 - 23,313 kwh
  • 2015 - 21,102 kwh
  • 2016 - 21,072 kwh
  • 2017 - 20,996 kwh
  • 2018 - 20,229 kwh
  • 2019 - 22,048 kwh
  • 2020 - 24,419 kwh
  • 2021 - 24,017 kwh
  • 2022 - 24,189 kwh
  • 2023 - 21,899 kwh
  • 2024 - 2,914 kwh
  • Total - 265,614 kwh

  • Green Initiatives
  • 95% of fixtures CFLs
  • Geothermal HVAC/WH
  • Recycled contect paper
  • Recycle Inkjet cartridges
  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • Proper disposal of CFLs
  • Proper disposal of hazardous chemicals
  • No single-use dishware
  • 1.6 gallon toilets
  • Native/drought tolerant plants
  • Purchase low-voc chemicals
  • Support local artists
  • Support local charities;
  • Support national charities;