The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy: Achieving Energy Independence Through Solar, Wind, Biomass, and Hydropower
Energy bills have skyrocketed in the United States, and traditional energy sources can be as damaging to the environment as they are to your pocketbook. The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy will show you how to slash your home energy costs while dramatically reducing your carbon footprint.
Completely revised and updated, this new edition describes the most practical and affordable methods for making significant improvements in home energy efficiency and tapping into clean, affordable, renewable energy resources. If implemented, these measures will save the average homeowner tens of thousands of dollars over the coming decades.
Focusing on the latest technological advances in residential renewable energy, this guide examines each alternative energy option available including:
- Solar hot water and solar hot air systems
- Passive and active solar retrofits for heating and cooling
- Electricity from solar, wind, and microhydro
- Hydrogen, fuel cells, methane digesters, and biodiesel
This well-illustrated and accessible guide is an essential resource for those wanting to enter the renewable energy field. Packed with practical tips and guidelines, it gives readers sufficient knowledge to hire and communicate effectively with contractors and is a must-read for anyone interested in saving money and achieving energy independence.
Dan Chiras is the author of twenty-nine books on residential renewable energy and green building and the director of The Evergreen Institute’s Center for Renewable Energy and Green Building, where he teaches workshops on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and green building.
List Price: $ 28.95
Price: $ 11.44
Customer Reviews73 of 74 people found the following review helpful
A great resource for selecting the best RE options for your home, October 14, 2006 By John Wills (Westmoreland NH USA) – See all my reviews
This is a great introduction to essentially all the renewable energy resources available. Chiras takes a sensible, realistic look at a number of options for both reducing your dependence on fossil fuels as well as saving money. He talks about which solutions work best in which climates and gives tips on where to begin wading into renewable energy.
I originally bought the book as a resource to help us select which renewable energy options were viable in our new home design. It served that purpose well but I will also keep it handy as we move forward as Chiras goes beyond the typical introduction and gives planning suggestions and some detailed discussions on sizing and maintenance of a few systems.
Note that this book is targeted at home owners wishing to retrofit their EXISTING homes for renewable energy. Repeatedly throughout the book, Chiras recommended his book “The Solar House” for those of us designing new homes. I plan to read that book before building but still found a lot of useful information in this book.
A decent overview; left me wanting more details., September 4, 2007 By tony mancill (Vancouver, WA United States) – See all my reviews
I read this book cover-to-cover over the course of a couple of weeks. I’m new to the field of renewable energy, so you’ll have to take my criticisms for what they are, a critique of the writing:
1) The author frequently repeats himself, and sometimes goes so far to state that he is repeating himself, and that the reader should refer back to a previous section.
2) Many of the references are “so and so claims such and such” or references to the Home Power magazine. It’s great that the author cites his sources, but it often left me wondering if the author placed any stock in the claim being reported.
3) The author frequently refers to his own house, which was designed from the ground up to use renewable energy. While this is neat, it doesn’t seem applicable to readers who already own houses (with a 99% chance that they’re not nearly as efficient, and that it’s not possible to convert them).
4) I would have enjoyed more information on solar power, since it seems to be the most applicable in urban and suburban areas. Instead, it received basically equal treatment alongside micro-hydroelectric and wind power.
Still, it’s a good book – 3.5 stars – and contains a number of references to other sources of information on the topic.
Renewable Energy for the Masses, November 14, 2006 By JP189 (Prattville, AL United States) – See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This is a good book for people who want a better understanding of what can be achieved using renewable energy in a residential application. It only gets 4 stars from me because the author gets a bit preachy at times about his opinions on fossil fuels and future scarcity, high price, etc. He does practice what he preaches and uses personal examples in much of the book.
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