Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Energy Game And Your Future Life Style by Walt Barrett

Well it's happening again. We were experiencing extremely high energy costs, and people started looking for alternative energy solutions. They have been enjoying some moderate success, even cutting down a bit on our gasoline and fuel oil consumption. Then, all of a sudden, oil prices started dropping like a rock. Part of it might have had to do with the impending Presidential elections which have now passed. Personally, I am very concerned that people are now going to go back to their same old energy wasting ways. I feel that is a huge mistake, but am powerless to stop it. Common sense tell us that we will see Eight dollar a gallon fuel prices soon enough. People say that it has to do with supply and demand. I noticed that when fuel prices go up the prices at the pump, and the fuel oil dealers go up virtually immediately, but when the price per barrel drop, Fuel prices take much longer to go down. Since no one in our government is really interested in looking after the our, the hapless consumers, interest in these matters, and only give us lip service, I suggest that we move forward on the assumption that the fuel prices are still sky high, and will soon be getting higher. Any other assumption would be reckless, and dangerous on our part.
We have to continue to find every possible avenue to save oil, including developing even less expensive, and more efficient methods for vegetable oil and biomass produced fuels. We need to develop new and inexpensive building materials, and even more energy efficient homes. Perhaps we can use more of the huge waste stream that is going into the landfills etc. People that live in extreme climates either hot or cold are not going to be able to heat or cool the large inefficient homes that they are currently living in. Personally, I like to think that I am already ahead of the curve on the home problem because we have already built a very efficient off the power grid micro home, and plan to build many more. We are running tests on new equipment we have purchased or built just to see how little solar produced electricity a micro home dweller can comfortably get by on. We have decided to focus on smaller homes and off the power grid living to beat the rising costs of energy. We have to face the fact that many of us will not be able to afford our current life styles in our expensive energy future. Also, smaller homes mean smaller tax bills. Smaller homes use less energy, less building materials, and less maintenance. We are studying sizes from 128 square feet to 800 square feet. These sizes can be mass produced dirt cheap compared to what is being built today. The first buyers will be retirees, backwoods camps, and people that already know that a smaller home may to the only way they will ever own a home because they are in a very low income bracket and can't seem to break free to the next level. We have to develop materials and systems that will save money and natural resources. We are also currently engaged in building materials research. We need some simple and inexpensive answers. Solar electric systems should be designed to pay off in about two years of saved electric bills. New light bulbs and new automatic energy saving devices already make this possible. Our micro home will come with such a system. Never pay another electric bill!
Frankly speaking, my main concern is that people are not taking the the energy situation seriously enough. I already know the sad truth that we do not yet have enough interest either locally or nation wide to enable us to set up to mass produce the homes we have developed. I'm not going to let that stop me from building prototypes though. I am using the current models as a platform to further develop solar heating and storage units, solar hot water heating, solar cooling, Solar water pumping, an efficient and odorless composting toilet, and advanced building material research, just to name a few. We have developed may of these items already. Just think about living in a compact little home that takes care of you for a change instead of you having to taking care of it. Now that's a home!
We would like to hear from you. Is anyone paying attention?

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