We all consume fossil energy. In the last century north americans have
learned to use up phenomenal volumes. In one year, the average
north american is responsible for reducing the sum of global stored
energy by more than ten 18th Century north americans used
in their lifetimes, a five-hundred-fold increase. Of course, these
heritage fuels cannot be replaced in millions of years.
The Solar Utilities Network bookshelf has several titles dealing with these matter if you wish to delve more deeply.
For the most part, we are unconscious of the energy we squander.
Our vehicle addiction is beyond reason. At home, we throw away
one out of every two units of energy we buy. Our appliances are
inefficient, we use too many of them, and we use the wrong kind
of energy in many of our activites. For example, using electricity
for heat (in electric water heaters, stoves, or ovens) wastes
up to 80% of the original energy. The all-electric dream home of
the 70s has turned into a costly energy-hog nightmare in the 90s.
Reckoning Home Energy
You are here invited to participate in two exercises. In the first,
you will be asked to record a baseline of the energy you consumed
in the last four quarters. By noting how many kilowatt-hours
of electricity, therms of heating fuel, cords of firewood, gallons
of gasoline and water you consumed, and how many gallons of sewage
and barrels of garbage you produced, you quantify your impact
of your energy behaviors from the immediate past.
: view Energy Audit form:
(23kB GIF file) :
(59kB PDF file)
What do YOU do next?
The point of this exercise is to promote awareness of energy consumption.
On the form you will note a column marked something happens here
and we sincerely hope something does. Almost everyone agrees,
we simply cannot continue wasting energy at the present rate. In
fact, many serious thinkers believe we will find ways in the next
decade to reduce our per capita energy consumption by a large
or perish. We believe we know how to resist this last idea,
and invite you to work with us.
Experts from the Solar Utilities Network help clients reduce
energy waste using this form as our starting point. With this
information in hand, we can show you how to live a much more sensible
energy life. Our clients report that the information
and techniques learned in their work with us pay them back for course
costs within months, and that they are easily able to reduce energy
expenses by 50%, using the surplus to finance further measures for
energy efficiency. For information about our consulting services
please email us at the
address shown below.
Home Energy Map
In the second exercise you are asked to make a drawing of the
space you inhabit, extending out about 100 paces in every direction.
In our work, we are constantly amazed at how homes (and most other
structures) built since 1920 turn their backs on the free energy
around them - sunlight, wind, and running water. Once again, to
start using this energy well, you must understand where it is,
and the second form gives you an instrument for finding it.
: view Home Site Map :
(18 kB GIF file) :
(39 kB PDF file)
Although site is all-important when building a new house, we are often
amazed at how much energy can be found and used in the ambient
of existing houses. Our students systematically find a quarter
to a third of the energy they need to run their homes "lying
around". Again, we invite you to join one of our courses
to learn how to harvest this free, renewable energy.
Here's the lowest-hanging fruit:
Get your hot water from the SUN
with Solar Water Heating
if you haven't seen it already,
please take a look at
Berta's Monster: how to pay for conservation