johnb's blog

Solar Energy in the N. Okanagan +  

Can you use Solar Energy in the North Okanagan?

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that we get very little sunshine in the winter (~30 hours in Dec.) and lots in the summer (over 300 hours in July). So the most appropriate uses for solar energy coincide with the late spring, summer and early fall.

Geothermal Energy for Homes +  

Geothermal Systems are becoming increasingly popular with new home builders and with those who wish to make their existing homes less expensive to operate. These systems can be used to make heating much more efficient as well as to provide air conditioning in the summer. In addition, domestic hot water (and even a hot tub, if you have one) can be heated by the system.

House Design and Energy +  

The most critical factor to take into consideration in house design is to have a very well-insulated house to start with. Upgrading insulation, in an existing house, to improve conservation of energy, is normally the most cost-effective way of reducing the overall cost of heating and cooling.

Earthships +  

Earthships are houses that are virtually self-sufficient in terms of energy, water usage and food production.

The whole concept has been pioneered, developed and refined by architect Michael Reynolds in Taos, New Mexico. Reynolds prefers to call his work 'Biotecture', as it involves a lot more than traditional architecture. He has battled a great deal of resistance from those who write building codes and the establishment in general. After a long fight he has convinced the powers that be that this type of experimental housing offers a lot, including fighting global warming.

Solar Water Heating +  

There are a few different ways to heat water with solar energy.