Chiras Dan - The homeowner's guide to renewable energy

Author : Chiras Dan
Title : The homeowner's guide to renewable energy Achieving energy independence through solar, wind, biomass and hydropower
Year : 2006

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Introduction. For years, Kara Culpepper and her family, all avid Denver Bronco fans, held season tickets, attending every home game like tens of thousands of other enthusiasts.Those were good times, despite the fact that the family often had to brave Colorado’s cold winter weather to watch the Broncos play. Several years ago taxpayers built the team a new stadium. Facing much higher ticket prices, Kara and her family decided to give up their season tickets. They hadn’t given up on their team, though. They were just going to watch the games on TV in the comfort of their home. Trouble is, their modest suburban home, which was built in the 1970s, was anything but comfortable. To be truthful, it was an ice box in the winter. Poorly insulated and full of leaks that allowed cold air in on blustery winter days, their home was like millions of residences throughout North America. To watch the games, Kara and her family had to bundle up in jackets and sweaters and don thermal socks or huddle under blankets. Ironically, it wasn’t a whole lot different than a December game outside at the stadium. “The only difference was that in the stadium you could actually get sunrays,” remarks Kara. But those days have changed.Today,Kara and her family watch the game — and other programs — in comfort, no longer bundled up like the Inuit on a cold Arctic night.Today, the family enjoys Bronco games in normal garb.Winters inside their home are no longer just bearable, they’ve become downright comfortable— thanks to an extensive home energy retrofit. The energy retrofit was made possible by the local utility (Xcel Energy) and a nonprofit organization, the Colorado Energy Science Center, a leader in wise energy use in Colorado. Kara qualified for the complete energy makeover,worth over $25,000,when her home was selected as one of two winners in a statewide competition.Her family’s home was deemed to be one of the two most energy-inefficient homes in an applicant pool of 10,000 homes. The judges believed that her home would, if retrofitted, provide the most significant energy and cost savings. ...

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