IT is energy efficient and can save you money. It is a good investment and can help the environment. It leads to less dependence on foreign oil and provides self-sustainability.
IT is renewable energy — solar, wind, water, or the earth’s warmth.
SolarNovus Today is a website about “what really matters in the Solar industry today”. They recently did a “Case Studies and Solar Solutions” article on my house renovation, 78 Main St, Enfield, NH.
You can get the link here: Renovation Showcases Solar Potential. In case the link doesn’t work, here is a PDF Solar Solution – Renovation showcases solar potential of the article.
Green Living Journal published the story I wrote entitled “One Woman’s Journey to a Zero Energy Building”. I like how they advertised it on the cover (My Zero Net Energy Home) and put it out in Left Field
Click here if you would like to read it. I added some pictures in the blog post version. They didn’t have room for many pictures in the journal.
I’m very excited to report that the Business New Hampshire Magazine has chosen Energy Emporium as the winner of the 2012 Lean and Green award in the Green Building category!
They award businesses in 3 major categories related to sustainability and energy efficiency: Green Buildings (what the business has done with its building to reduce energy use), Green Products/Services (business products or services that provide energy efficiencies), or Sustainability Champions (internal business processes geared towards energy efficiencies and sustainability in the workplace).
Solarfest is a fun weekend of renewable and sustainable living workshops both for adults and kids, highlighted by great music, food, and fun activities. All the electricity for the music stages, projectors in the workshop tents, lights, and vendor stalls is provided by solar photovoltaics and a wind turbine on site. There are also solar hot water showers for those who stay overnight (mostly in tents or RVs). Last weekend was Solarfest’s 18th year in production.
Two years ago I presented the goals, vision and planning for my business and home renovation, 78 Main St renovation, from a historic shell to a zero net-energy building (ZEB). At last year’s Solarfest I presented the completion of the project and some details on the data logging (Solarfest Workshop, 2011). In order to analyze the energy systems that were designed it is necessary to measure all the heating and electrical use of the house over the course of a year (or more).
UVL Home Improvement
For most businesses the best publicity you can get is not what you pay for, but what someone else writes for you or about you that gets the most attention. With Energy Emporium (as with other businesses I’ve been involved with), we have paid for print ads, radio ads, newspaper and magazine ads but I rarely get any response that someone saw or heard those ads.
Contrast that to the case where someone else writes about you or your business — good or bad — you will probably hear about it from friends, colleagues and potential clients.
I was very excited when Upper Valley Life decided to do an article on my house renovation from an 1858 shell to a zero net energy building. I have been living in my “new” house for almost a year and had just completed a workshop at the Building Energy 12 conference in Boston, so I had lots of material and could answer questions, provide pictures, whatever they might need.
That’s the title of the talk I am going to do at the NESEA (Northeast Sustainable Energy Association) conference in Boston in March 2012. The conference, BuildingEnergy 12, will be held at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston on March 6-8. There are 10 different tracks of workshops on “renewables and high performance buildings”. Check it out. You can get a ton of information at this conferences.
I was very excited to have my presentation selected. All the work we’ve been doing on the renovation of my building has been well documented and I will have a years worth of real data and results by then. I applied to present at this conference last year but my project schedule slipped and my move-in date was too late to get any real feedback as to the performance of the house, so they asked me to re-apply this year.
Solarfest was a lot of fun this year! I learn so much from the attendees and the other vendors. It is an important part of my renewable energy continuing education.
This year I learned about fixed magnet versus electromagnet motors (as used in wind or water turbines) and how to provide appropriate electrical circuits to support them. I learned a few more good uses for composting toilets and backyard garden composters based on what people are actually doing with these products. I got the answer to a question that one of my customer’s had about his grid-tied battery backup system that didn’t always sell all his solar power back to the grid. And I heard a few more interesting ways that people are making their own hot water batch heaters.
The renovation of 78 Main St is finished and we are moved in! I’m working on a short slide show presentation as well as information cards to talk about the history of the house, the goals for this renovation, and the choices we made to reach the goals. I’m trying to get that all organized for Saturday’s open house!
On March 31, 2011 I got the occupancy permit for the residential section of our building at 78 Main St
! And I moved in last weekend. There is still some work to do on the commercial side (Energy Emporium’s future home), but I’m hoping to finish that and move the store in by the end of this month.
It has been a lot of physical, mental and emotional work, a lot of red tape (from permits to loans), and some interesting tweaking and modifications of the solar powered heating system to get to this point… but it came out really well. A lot of thanks goes to my general contractor, Don Roberts, who has been great to work with even while I changed things at the last minute to meet LEED (Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design) and ZEB (zero energy building) requirements.