Renewable Energy: Getting Started

An important key to renewable energy is to start with conservation, which does not necessarily mean doing less, but doing it much more efficiently.

I think the fear of having to “do with less” is what keeps some people from embracing alternatives. Ironically, in one hundred years, history may look back at today’s petrochemical grid as the brief, unfortunate alternative to what otherwise have been centuries of smart, renewable energy practices.

Doing with less is not necessary. Take for example the $8 tire gauge that some on the right so ridiculed in 2008. While I briefly am $8 poorer, I can save hundreds in fuel costs if I buy and use one, which means I can actually drive more for the same amount of money if that’s what I really want to do.

My advice to anyone considering solar is to start by redesigning one’s energy footprint – buy a tire gauge, re-glaze the windows, insulate the attic – and then consider buying a much more affordable solar energy system to serve reduced needs. Maximum value; minimum sacrifice.

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