Watch Out for Hidden Energy Waste

Circulation pump clock timer.

One nice side effect of using solar energy is a heightened awareness about energy use in general. Not everyone will have the same reaction of course, but I enjoy the process of paying attention and making adjustments here and there as needed. It also a good way to take some personal responsibility for the state of our world. The heart of many solar water heating systems is the heat-exchanger ... Read More

Efficient Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat pump water heater

As homes become more efficient, the portion of energy used for water heating is growing larger. Collectively, the amount of energy expended on this simple task is astounding and much of it is wasted. There are many options for improving the efficiency of our water heating systems, including insulating the water heater and pipes, avoiding setting the thermostat higher than necessary and using low ... Read More

Solar Hot Water – Be the Change!

Solar Water Drops

We live in interesting times. Never before have we witnessed so much change in so little time. Whether we resist or embrace change, it is still inevitable, but if we actively embrace the changes we like we can often minimize the change we’d prefer to avoid. For example, almost everyone in this country uses some sort of fossil or other non-renewable fuel to heat water. We all like the ... Read More

New Solar Thermal Incentives

Liberty Center solar panels at dusk.

Timing is everything, as the saying goes, and that certainly applies to act of purchasing a renewable energy system. There seems to be a constantly changing landscape of costs, rebates, incentives and supply that influence the final price of these systems. It would be great if we could gaze into a crystal ball to determine the precise moment of maximum benefit. The next best thing is to stay ... Read More

Getting a Green Workout

Liberty Center - Black Mtn Snow

I got to the gym a little late yesterday and it was already dark outside. After checking in at the desk at Sun City Anthem’s Liberty Center, I headed for the locker room. As I opened the door, the lights were out and it was pitch black inside. It wasn’t that late and the place was not closing down. The lights had been shut off automatically by a sensor that had not detected anyone in the room for ... Read More

Personal Waterfall

Waterfall

Back in the days of old, taking a warm shower was a luxury that few could afford on a regular basis. Water had to be fetched from a well or stream, then heated by fire from wood chopped by hand in the forest (assuming there was one nearby). It took a lot of effort to make it all happen, but oh, how sweet the reward! As an adventurous teenager, I lived briefly in a small, humble abode (actually ... Read More

Solar Hot Water Incentives

My last column focused on our man-made solar eclipse, some of the damage that results from drilling for fossil fuels and ways we can reduce our need for natural gas by using the sun to heat water and even our homes. A new solar hot water rebate program is in the works for Nevadans, similar to the rebates already in place for photovoltaic (PV) systems. The program details are not finalized but it ... Read More

Longest Solar Eclipse Ever

There was a time when a solar eclipse struck fear into the hearts and minds of those who did not understand what caused the sun to briefly disappear during the middle of the day. Now when the moon casts its shadow while passing between the earth and sun we enjoy the relatively rare experience. We’ve long lived in the shade of another solar eclipse of sorts; however no celestial body was ... Read More

2009 National Clean Energy Summit

Perspective is an interesting thing. If you’re too far away from something, you don’t see the details. If you’re too close, you miss the big picture. In my experience, the best strategy for maintaining a healthy perspective is to keep both in mind. Look at the big picture and use it as a guide as you handle the necessary details. With regard to Green Living, the big picture is the health of the ... Read More

HomeFree Nevada

We’ve all heard a lot about green jobs lately. But what exactly is a green job? When are they coming? Where can a person find one? A lot of people want to know how they can make a living while making a difference. While I believe that any job in any company can be “greened” with the right attitude and attention to detail, there are some that fall squarely in the green job category. They often ... Read More