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South City's Green X-Ray House Virtual Tour

The city recently released a video that tours the local home retrofitted to save on energy and utility bills.

South San Francisco recently released a new video tour of its Green X-Ray House, the city-owned 3-bedroom model of sustainability at 109 Longford Ave.

The home, which is a collaboration between the city and local businesses that offer sustainability-focused products, was mostly completed in 2008. Since its completion, high school groups, staff from nearby cities, homeowners, contractors and college design students have visited the house to learn about how energy-saving products are installed and how they might save money and energy by retrofiting their own homes.

The new video allows anyone to take a detailed tour of the property and hear a narrator explain energy-saving elements of the home, such as double-pane windows, drought-resistant outdoor plants and a water-saving dual flush toilet.

Currently, solar panels on the roof provide energy for electricity and an energy credit of about $100 per month. That means if residents actually lived in the home, they'd likely be saving that much money on their utility bill. The $100 is just one example of savings, as utility providers, location and other factors affect how much each particular house can save on their bills. 

Since many homes in South San Francsico were built several decades ago, they are not as energy efficient as newer houses. The 60-year-old X-Ray House is an example of how to retrofit those older homes; the green house is now as efficient as brand new homes on the market today.

To complete the home, the city spent $53,000 on materials and labor. Also, $85,000 worth of materials, such as solar panels, decking, artificial turf, a water purification system, furniture and tankless water heater, were donated. Volunteers also gave $45,000 worth of labor to install several of those items, as well as complete other tasks including landscaping and installing windows and insulation.

"The City plans to maintain the house for the purpose of educating the public on the wide variety of sustainable options available in today’s market," Susan Kennedy, assistant to the city manager, said in an email. Kennedy said that if the city does ever sell the Green X-Ray House, it will be sold at a price affordable to a low-income family.

The house is available for group tours by appointment, and the city holds open houses on a qarterly basis. For information or in-person tours, contact: sustainable.ssf@ssf.net or (650) 829-6634.

To see the new video tour, click here.

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