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Old 05-03-2009, 11:24 AM   #1
Meck77
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Default Let's talk altnernative energy for the home-OT

So I was curious how many of you utilize solar, wind, or hydro energy for your homes?

Anyone work in the field that has some advice to share?

Also I was wondering what incentives are actually out there for people to make the switch? I keep hearing something about a 30% tax credit?

What about your vehicles? Any hybrid owners out there?

So what else are you doing to "Go Green"?

If you have some good links on the subject please post them.

Here is a good one to start with. www.realgoods.com
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:36 PM   #2
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what do you want to know?
i have 40 years experience building energy efficient homes.
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:47 PM   #3
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what do you want to know?
i have 40 years experience building energy efficient homes.
Wow...1 post in 4 years.
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:51 PM   #4
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came out of his teepee for this, better listen.

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Old 05-03-2009, 02:11 PM   #5
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meck77 View Post
So I was curious how many of you utilize solar, wind, or hydro energy for your homes?

Anyone work in the field that has some advice to share?

Also I was wondering what incentives are actually out there for people to make the switch? I keep hearing something about a 30% tax credit?

What about your vehicles? Any hybrid owners out there?

So what else are you doing to "Go Green"?

If you have some good links on the subject please post them.

Here is a good one to start with. www.realgoods.com
The most interesting thing I've heard of is the use of the constant temperature below ground to help regulate the temperature of your house year round. From what I remember it's relatively cheap (a few thousand) to install and pays for itself in a matter of years.
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowspot66 View Post
The most interesting thing I've heard of is the use of the constant temperature below ground to help regulate the temperature of your house year round. From what I remember it's relatively cheap (a few thousand) to install and pays for itself in a matter of years.
Wasn't there a thread about that here maybe a year or so ago?
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:26 PM   #8
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:30 PM   #9
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Default geothermal

a professional installed system will run $20 to $40,000
the last home we built using geothermal avenge monthly
heating & cooling bills around $35.00

Last edited by littlebear; 05-03-2009 at 02:33 PM..
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Old 05-03-2009, 04:18 PM   #10
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Depending where you live, getting a heat pump and some drilling can do your heat for you.

Hybrids are a waste of money, unless you spend a lot of time in backup traffic regularly, just buy a car of a similar size to Prius with a diesel engine and you will get as good or better mileage and a much nicer car.

Triple glassed windows are a solid investment for some people, it can save a lot on the heat bill in the long run.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:08 PM   #11
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Anyone have information on a solar/wind combination put onto existing homes? I have about 10 acres and would like to go off the grid.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:15 PM   #12
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Anyone have information on a solar/wind combination put onto existing homes? I have about 10 acres and would like to go off the grid.
Did you start your manifesto yet?
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:19 PM   #13
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I always have been interested in solar power since jr high when a friend in FL's parents had them on their house. They couldn't get them to work right but that was back in 1979/1980ish.

I like the small wind generator I saw on Nova that is like a corkscrew and not traditional windmill shape. It takes up less space and doesn't need to point at the wind. It was $30k though and that is out of the question.

I read about some Coin Op laundries around Cutler-town that collect rain water and use solar to heat the water and wind for power. They get a return faster than the avg homeowner and can afford it.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:27 PM   #14
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:35 PM   #15
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I'd like to install some solar energy when I get back to Omaha, but my motives are purely ulterior...I want to save money.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:45 PM   #16
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Did you start your manifesto yet?
Being off the grid and being self sufficient requires a manifesto huh? I'm not interested in the government telling me when to turn my air conditioning on or off or telling me what my house temperature should be regulated to year round or paying huge bills because of cap and trade BS. There are also many times when bad weather hits and power out my way can be down for days at a time. Having a self sustaining unit would be nice to have.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:26 PM   #17
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We have passive solar for our home near Durango, but it was installed by the original owner/builder.

Still, I got a $1,500 tax credit for buying the home installed with the solar.

It doesn't do a whole hell of a lot other than heat water, but the previous owner said that, alone, would save us between $300-500 a year. So far, it's proven true. I'd like to expand it to include some electrical functions and may do that before fall. There's another $1,500 tax credit in it for me if I do.

I understand that within a year to two years there will be inclusive solar power systems that can essentially run all functions for a home during the daytime. The technology is certainly available for that. If it becomes available sooner, I'll probably buy that as well.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowspot66 View Post
The most interesting thing I've heard of is the use of the constant temperature below ground to help regulate the temperature of your house year round. From what I remember it's relatively cheap (a few thousand) to install and pays for itself in a matter of years.
yep the ground is *60 your well is the same and can be done by youself cheap so yes this is great way make a huge savings in you eletric bill

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Old 05-03-2009, 08:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
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The most interesting thing I've heard of is the use of the constant temperature below ground to help regulate the temperature of your house year round. From what I remember it's relatively cheap (a few thousand) to install and pays for itself in a matter of years.
As said above, it's geothermal. My parents put it in when they built their last home in 2002. Don't know how much the system cost (but it was cheaper to do while building the house than an add-on system), and to heat/cool a 6600 sq foot house is about 1/2 the price to heat/cool our 1900 sq foot house. I think their monthly utility bills run around $50.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:39 PM   #20
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I will show you the solar system on the cabin this year steve it's pretty slick and it runs all the lights and 2 TVs all night and it wasn't all that expensive.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:53 PM   #21
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Being off the grid and being self sufficient requires a manifesto huh? I'm not interested in the government telling me when to turn my air conditioning on or off or telling me what my house temperature should be regulated to year round or paying huge bills because of cap and trade BS. There are also many times when bad weather hits and power out my way can be down for days at a time. Having a self sustaining unit would be nice to have.
I've looked at this some. I would like to insulate myself from the coming skyrocketing energy costs.

But the only cost-efficient home energy today is: (1) designing the home from the git go to be energy efficient, eg. window placement, insulation, berming; etc; and (2) geothermal heating/cooling. Combining those two produces some really dramatic results. Problem is, you have to be building your own home. I would love to do it but can't afford it right now.

OTOH, solar is still a rich man's hobby or political cover for politicians who have enormous carbon footprints flying around the world promoting low carbon footprints but, for practical reasons, need to play green. Wind is expensive, noisy, and has too many moving parts to rely on. Both are not steady enough to depend on, imho. The big problem is batteries and capital cost. Even if the systems last 20 years thru Colorado's hail, wind etc, they are a 20-30 year payout before you actually start saving money.

Another big problem, again imo, the industry is new and a lot of the manufacturers and installers aren't going to be around in 5 years. So it's not clear how you get some assurance that warranties on something that is a 20 or 30 year investment will be fulfilled. When the bearings in the windmill seize up in 7 years, where do you get the replacement part?
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:19 PM   #22
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The most interesting thing I've heard of is the use of the constant temperature below ground to help regulate the temperature of your house year round. From what I remember it's relatively cheap (a few thousand) to install and pays for itself in a matter of years.
Their was a bit in my local paper about this. Digging just about 10-20 feet down produced consistent heat for your water supply. Once installed, you were no longer paying a water heating bill. Pretty cool.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:42 AM   #23
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The most interesting thing I've heard of is the use of the constant temperature below ground to help regulate the temperature of your house year round. From what I remember it's relatively cheap (a few thousand) to install and pays for itself in a matter of years.
Geothermal. You can either send the heat/cool thru your duct system or do radiant floor. As mentioned earlier it's much cheaper to plan for this on a new build.

I have a guy coming out on wed to give me an estimate. The thing is where I live I don't even need AC so I already know it really won't be cost effective. We're going to chat solar as well. Bronx I'd be interested to check out the system in your cabin.

Passive Solar/Water heating has certainly been efficient for a long time. We put one up on my childhood home 20 years ago and have had free hot water since. Creating electricity is another story.

I've done plenty of research on wind power but you need a sustained wind of 12mph they say and I really don't have that to be efficient. I use a windmill aeration system for the pond though. It's a 20 foot windmill and she blasts a hole right thru any winter ice that builds up. It's amazing really as the ice in the pond can get up to 5 feet thick.


I'm looking into installing a hydro turbine in this summer. http://www.realgoods.com/product/win...dro+turbine.do We have a ton of water pounding thru my place except for maybe just two of the coldest months and if you have the water hydro electricity is one of the most efficient alternative energy sources available.

Ok I found some info on the tax credits. All this "hype" about giving people the incentive to CHANGE yet the tax credit is capped at $500 bucks.

Ok here's an off grid hot tub you can make for a fraction of what a hot tub would cost you. Just add wood!
http://www.cowboyhottubs.com/

Last edited by Meck77; 05-04-2009 at 06:22 AM..
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:14 AM   #24
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I'm interesting in things like this for my magazine.
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:42 AM   #25
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My dogs give off a lot of windpower. Does that count?
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