Monday, April 18, 2016

Mesquite Hugger Disclaimer 2: Solar/Wind Power vs Energy Conservation

[Earth Day is just 4 days away!]
 
Yep, you know me. I'm an eco-dreamer. One of my struggles with going green is how snagging expensive it can be, especially if you follow popular media and conventional wisdom. If you pay much attention, you quickly develop a high-dollar list of must haves in order to go green:

  • solar panels
  • electric car
  • high-efficiency appliances
  • rain collection system
  • organic food
  • so forth
  • so on

It's pretty easy to see that I bought in - at least figuratively. My finance manager, however, did not buy in. My finance manager believes that you should not spend money you don't have. (We argue a lot.)

So, the Mesquite Hugger home does not have solar panels mounted to the roof or a wind generator spinning away in the yard. But I have done a lot of reading in preparation.


The first two things people do to prepare for going solar is assess their home and clean up their act. The more energy efficient you can make your home, the smaller your solar setup needs are, and that means less money out of your pocket.

So, where do you start?

Electricity

 
One of my favorite electricity tools - simple and inexpensive


This one is multifaceted and can have a huge impact. It can be as simple as working to reduce energy use in rooms you are not in (no lights left on, close a/c and heater vents, eliminate phantom power losses) or measuring power usage of the electric devices you have (Switch to LED bulbs already!!!) or finding ways to not use your electric devices (Hanging your laundry up to completely or partially dry can drastically reduce electricity usage).


Air leaks

Doors, windows, vents, even light switches - these can all contribute to air loss in your home. Sure, it would be great to have someone come over and replace them all, but most air leaks can be dealt with using much less intense and expensive approaches, and many of them can be done by a less expensive technician - you.



Insulation

Similar to dealing with air leaks, adding insulation to your home can be a great way to conserve resources and make your house more comfortable all year round.

 
Looking through these on-line resources, you can see that there are lots of projects you can tackle yourself with very little time, money, and skill. Small efforts can make big payoffs when it comes to making your home (or workplace) more energy efficient.
 
May you find a path to green conservation and money conservation with no financing involved!