Solar Panels help homeowners reduce costs of electricity
From Enfield, CT, The Journal Inquirer reports on 4/22, that Steve Moriarty’s carbon foot print is almost zero. He purchased solar panels for his home for $32,000 but with a tax credit for the solar panels, he only paid about 40% for the project or roughly $18K.
In addition, when he makes more power than he can use, he sells it back to the Electric Company, and on cloudy days, when he can’t generate enough electricity, he pulls in from the power company. The lowest monthly electricity bill he has is $16.00 which accounts for the fees he has to pay to stay connected to the grid.
On Saturday, April 24th, in part to honor the April 22 – Earth Day Theme, he will hold an open house at his residence at 24 Sidor Drive, Enfield, CT to show off his “green” house and help folks learn how they can save money on their utility bills with a little investment. (JI)
Solar Water Heater helps support Green Initiative
In addition to the solar panels, Moriarty created his own solar heater out of 171 soda cans that he uses to supplement the hot water that he generates through geothermal energy. He has a series of pipes that run through his basement that push antifreeze. The system circulates the liquid at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but it returns at 50 degrees. The difference in temperature is channeled through compressors and keeps the house around 70 degrees. (JI)
Roof materials for going green
Instead of replacing his roof every 25 years with standard shingles, he went with t ametal roof that lasts 50 years for $11,500. The roof system collects water which he channels through his yard for irrigation. (JI)
Reduce lawn, need for frequent cuttings and investigate wind power options
Moriarity also chose to go with a thicker grass so that he cuts his lawn ½ as often as his neighbors. He uses grapevines for fencing, and fruit trees for hedges. He is trying to work with the town to write code so that wind turbines will be allowed in residential areas so that he can supplement his solar energy. (JI)
Another way to go green is to plant periannual flowers and reduce grass area. In my yard, I use Perinnual flowers, in 10 different gardens. It takes me just 15 minutes to cut the lawn every week or two.
The JI reports that by not owning a car, and using an electronic bicycle to get around, Moriarity further reduces his carbon footprint. Instead of a clothes dryer, he uses a clothesline Moriarity says, “All my equipment should be paid for in 10 years, and then I should be set for life.” (JI)
Reduce utility cost burdens and carbon foot prints for the long term by modifying the approach
How is electricity priced and how can you reduce your own carbon footprint without any equipment? Electricity costs are based upon market demand and electricity availability according to Statistical Approaches to Electricity Costs and Pricing.
Pricing is set on an hourly basis and must be used at the same time it is produced. “The on-peak period is defined to be the hours between 8 am and 11 PM, which is a 16-hour block. (Technical White Paper)
One thing that people can do to reduce their costs and carbon footprint without spending any money for equipment is to shift running a load of laundry, using the dryer or running a dishwasher to late at night or first thing in the morning.
Updating windows , adding skylights, updating wiring, and making sure insulation is working appropriately are other ways to maintain a home for value, further reducing the carbon footprint, without spending a lot of money.
Journal Inquirer, 4/22/2010, Going Green In Enfield, Kala Kachmar
Technical White Paper written by: By J. Stuart McMenamin, Ph.D., Frank A. Monforte, Ph.D.
Christine Fordham, Eric Fox, Fredrick D. Sebold Ph.D., and Mark Quan Statistical Approaches to Electricity Costs and Pricing