Seven Solar Surprises!

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It’s been three months since we put solar panels on our roof, and there have been a few surprises. There were things about ourselves and the technology and physics that we didn’t expect. So, as part of our ongoing look at Project Solar, here are a few things I didn’t expect. 1) For Easy Energy [Continue Reading...]

Does Solar In Seattle Work? {Reader FAQs}

Solar in Seattle

In early April, after about five years of deliberation, we had solar panels installed on the south and west facing portions of our roof. On April 15th our panels “went live” and since then we’ve had a chance to evaluate what it means to be solar powered in Seattle. We’ve been sharing moments of our [Continue Reading...]

Can You Heat Your Home With Bricks and Twigs? Paul Wheaton Thinks So.

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Let’s say, just for argument’s sake, that you think the world would be a better place if the collective “we” used less coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear energy and other heat-generating resources. Or, maybe you don’t give a rip about the environment but you sure like saving money. Perhaps you just need a reliable DIY way to [Continue Reading...]

Mini-Money Challenge: Wrestle More Money Out Of Your Largest Appliances

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Once I was visiting my in-laws in Central California. We were driving through what used to be Ag Land but is now, inexplicably, where people who work in San Francisco live. I say inexplicably because this area is about a 90 minute to two hour drive from San Francisco depending on traffic. People explain why [Continue Reading...]

Of Watts and Watt-Hours

This post has nothing to do with gardening – but it does have a great deal to do with sustainability and environmental awareness. It follows up to Erica’s experimentation with the Kill-A-Watt with a (brief) engineering lesson. Please, don’t be scared. I studied engineering for three years before realizing I hated it switching to English [Continue Reading...]

Can You Get Arrested if You Kill-A-Watt?

My local library system has partnered with my local power company to make Kill-A-Watt energy meters available for check-out, just like a book or video. A few weeks ago, I checked out a Kill-A-Watt. These things look like a remote control and a power strip had a baby. You plug your appliance into the Kill-A-Watt, [Continue Reading...]