Owner/Builder

Use Renewable Energy

There are many ways to conserve the use of fossil fuel; using the sun, wind, or water to produce electricity are among them. If you choose to do this, you will be forced to be careful in the way you use your electricity because it is limited. Whether you get your electricity from alternative sources or from the grid, it pays to choose energy efficient appliances. Front-loading clothes washers, for instance, use much less electricity, water and soap than the top-loaders. LED lights use much less electricity than standard bulbs or even compact flourescents. Many appliances use electricity by just being plugged in (known as phantom loads); be sure to avoid this.

Besides conserving electricity, energy can be saved by using solar to heat water and your home. Good home design will allow daylight to provide lighting when possible. Under some circumstances wood heat is a renewable energy resource, along with geothermal. Even methane can be produced from biomass, collected and used for heating and cooking. Any strategy that helps conserve the use of fossil fuels for any of these applications is worth considering, especially if it reduces the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the air.

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Informative Links, Media and Products

The media shown below are arranged according to when they were published, with the most recent ones at the top. If you click on one of the images you will be taken to a page at Amazon.com where you can find out more about the media or product. If you end up buying one of them, greenhomebuilding.com will receive a small commission that will help cover the cost of maintaining this website. Thanks for your patronage.

General

nrel.gov The Renewable Resource Data Center (RReDC) provides access to an extensive collection of renewable energy resource data, maps, and tools.

the-mrea.org Midwest Renewable Energy Association site with information on PV, solar water heating, their annual fair, etc.

solar-energy-for-homes.com has lots of information about the use of solar enegry for electricity, hot water, cooking, hot tubs, etc.

ecodirect.com links to several informative articles about renewable energy technology.

starrynightlights.com is devoted to diminishing light pollution.

fresnelheatsystems.com describes a concept for using fresnel lenses to boost heating with solar for the production of electricity or heat.

sitiosolar.com a Spanish language site that focuses on renewable energy.

homeselfe.com 50 ways to save energy infographic.

Photovoltaics

freesunpower.com this site has assembled a detailed set of free tutorials and worksheets for calculating needs and system requirements for solar electricity.

aboutmyplanet.com has lots of articles about solar power.

solarenergy.com this is a free solar energy calculator that can help evaluate the cost of a PV system on your house.

understandsolar.com allows you to calculate your savings when buying solar panels.

solarpiper.com provides a handy calculator for analyzing the cost of a PV system.

Solar Hot Water

Seabird Island Project shows unique design for the solar heating of water and space through warm air collection and geothermal heat tubes.

alternativepowerdistribution.com describes evacuated tube solar water heating systems.


Wind Power

awea.org American Wind Energy Association provides a wealth of information about generating energy from wind.

arcadiapower.com When you sign up for Wind Energy with Arcadia Power, you'll ensure that for every kWh of electricity you use, a kWh of clean energy is produced and put in the grid.

Hydro Power

microhydropower.com lists several articles about micro hydro power systems.

brownellmicrohydro.com has a nice directory of links related to micro hydro systems.

Economics and Politics

Directories

findsolar.com An online directory of solar energy professionals

solarenergy.net features a directory of solar professionals, solar power cost calculator, and interactive solar maps for researching the Solar Power potential of your home, checking out federal, state, and local rebates and incentives.

seia.org the Solar Energy Industries Association provides news and has a database of solar contractors.

solaraccess.com news, education, business listings and jobs related to renewable energy.

cirkits.com links to manufacturers, organizations, etc. related to alternative energy.

Daylighting

Geothermal

geothermalheaters.com explains how geothermal heat pumps work.

cmrmechanical.com has some FAQ's about geothermal systems.

Human Power

mayapedal.org an amazing collection of pedal-powered machines, including grain mill, water pump, blender, metal sharpener, washing machine, electrical generator, wood saw, etc.

Methane

small-farm-permaculture-and-sustainable-living.com a description of a simple biodigestor to make methane.

Community Renewable Energy

cleanenergycollective.com assists with establishing community owned renewable energy facilities.

solargardens.org describes the history of the Solar Garden concept for community owned renewable energy projects.

concertoplus.eu explains all of Concerto's initiatives for bringing renewable energy to cities throughout Europe.

 

Home Heating

chimneykeepers.com introduction to masonry stoves.

envisioneer.net has free plans, description and photos of how to build a small masonry stove with paving stones.

richsoil.com has a good description and lots of videos about Rocket Mass Stoves

rumford.com lots of information about Rumford fireplaces.

lowtechmagazine.com a very nice illustrated article about masonry heaters.

mountainviewoffgridliving.com this Kimberly Stove is extremely efficient, as well as light weight and beautiful.

hybroexpo.com produces a unique electric infrared panel heater that is both beautiful and efficient.

Incentives and Support

dsireusa.org The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and selected federal incentives that promote renewable energy.

epa.gov The Green Power Partnership is a program that helps the procurement of green power by offering expert advice, technical support, tools and resources.

redfin.com tax rebates and incentives for green home improvements.

Education

naturalhomes.org lists workshops from around the world related to renewable energy.

solarenergy.org Solar Energy International on-line courses.

lowimpact.org the Low-Impact Linving Initiative in England provides information and courses related to renewable energy.

solarconnectionma.com has a number of informative pages answering questions about various modes solar energy use in the home.

renewableenergyaccess free weekly newletter of on-line information about renewable energy.

ases.org the American Solar Energy Society publishes "Solar Today" and posts articles on-line.

homepower.com website for Home Power Magazine: the best source of up-to-date information about alternative energy for the home!

seia.org the Solar Energy Industries Association provides news and has a database of solar contractors.

solaraccess.com news, education, business listings and jobs related to renewable energy.

eia.gov teachers guide for kids learning about energy.

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