Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Keep on the Sunny Side

Illinois Solar Energy AssociationLast weekend I finally carved out the time to attend a seminar I've been meaning to for awhile sponsored by the Illinois Solar Energy Association that covered the technologies and applications of solar energy and wind energy, with information specific to Illinois. Since it was down in Pekin, I was able to get my brother to come over from Chambana and attend too. As an electrical engineer working on commercial projects and an interest in sustainable building, it was a natural fit. This was also curious timing as this was 2 days after the Summer Solstice.

The seminar was packed full of information and it was interesting to see how people from central illinois planned to try and go "off the grid" with their homes. Living in a rural area, they have a greater luxury of being able to harness wind energy by installing tall towers with hopefully little or no complaints from their neighbors. At least in theory anyway.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the seminar was the discussion of the economics involved, both from a cost-savings perspective (fixed rate for utilities) as well as from a valuation perspective. There was even a study from The Appraisal Journal cited! Anyway, the bottom line is that solar is both feasible and comparatively affordable to other home improvements, and can postively impact property values. We'll have to investigate this for Humphrey House.

Those in Chicago can learn more this weekend (June 23) for free at Taste of Chicago - Going Green Tent - Solar & Wind Energy Talk 2pm & 4pm. There is also a Chicago-based version of the Solar 101 and Wind 101 workshops offered in July.

1 comment:

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