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Using Materials on Hand…

October 6, 2010

The interior of our tire bale home is about 98% complete. The guest shower is now complete. Now all we have to do is add blinds to the east end of the house to be 100% complete. We’re hoping to have the money to add the blinds this year.
Exterior work for our home included adding a solar system this year, which we completed on 7/27/2010. It is almost paid for before proceeding with the last interior item. Also on our list this year for exterior work was the addition of a pergola.

Hagar pergola

Hagar pergola


We were able to use materials on hand to complete this much needed “piece of shade” (thanks to our neighbor Carol who gave us some logs from an older cabin at her place). Duncan was able to pick up a piece of astro turf on a closeout sale to create a usable floor for the pergola. We had thoughts of gravel but that can wait. We used some leftover tires to create steps–pounding dirt into tires then covering them with concrete. (Boy! Am I glad we did NOT build our house by pounding dirt into tires. We might still be at it though using far less tires! Whew!)

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Tour Our Home as part of GC BEDA and ASES Solar Tour

September 21, 2010

We will be opening our home as part of a partnership with Grand County Business and Economic Development Association (BEDA) and American Solar Energy Society’s (ASES) National Solar Tour on <b>Saturday, October 2, 2010, from 10am until 3 pm.</b> If you are interested in participating in a tour of our home, you MUST sign up by going to GC BEDA and ASES Solar Tour and pick up a map there also.

We will have displays which will discuss thermal mass, passive solar homes, as well as solar systems like ours, and energy graphs for our home to see energy savings.

Plan the day to visit different solar homes and see solar techniques to discover which one(s) interest you the most.

We’re Generating Solar Energy–Finally

July 29, 2010

Update on our solar system…it’s working!  As of today, we have generated 640Watts or 14kWh (kilo Watt hours).  Whoopee!

Hagar's solar system up and functioning


A clarification must be made here.
We choose NOT to be off grid. Why?
Batteries–toxic, non Earth friendly, and they require maintenance.
Instead we choose to manufacture our own energy (small at first) and feed it into the grid. This method effectively offsets our electric bill.
To afford the system, we took advantage of rebates from the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) and Federal tax incentives to offset nearly half of the price of our system.
We feel it was worth the investment.

One Step Closer to Solar Energy

July 23, 2010

The solar panels are now mounted on our pole rack system.

Building the Hagar Solar System

Guy Larson and Duncan place panels on our pole mounted solar system. Guy shows us how the microinverters are wired.

Building the Hagar Solar System

Guy Larson and Duncan place panels on our pole mounted solar system

Our Netmeter is ordered from Mountain Parks Electric.
We are just about to reap the rewards of our solar system. Hooray!!
Catch the next post on how much the system generates.
stay tuned….

Promising Wind Turbine

June 11, 2010

A newsletter from Ed Begley (Living With Ed) today discusses a new type of wind turbine from Enviro Energies (of the U.S. and Canada) that has strong potential for businesses as well as homeowners.
How a system like this will work in our snowy mountainous climate is yet to be determined. A check with a local installation contractor reveals that our winds here in Grand County Colorado are not consistent enough for this type of turbine.
It is pricey, but so was solar once upon a time.
For Enviro-Energies 2.5 kW MVAWT — Rated output of 2.5 kW and maximum output of 4 kW. Can be utilized in most wind conditions. Power generation in as low as 4 mph of wind. UL certified 3.6 kW rated grid-tie inverter system. 5’h x 10’d sail assembly. $11, 495
3.6kW Inverter $3,695
For Enviro-Energies 5 kW MVAWT — Rated output of 5 kW and maximum output of 6 kW. Can be utilized in most wind conditions. Power generation in as low as 4 mph of wind. UL certified 6 kW rated grid-tie inverter system. 8’h x 14’d sail assembly. $22, 995
6kW Inverter $4,995
For Enviro-Energies 10 kW MVAWT — Rated output of 10 kW and maximum output of 12 kW. Can be utilized in most wind conditions. Power generation in as low as 4 mph of wind.
MSRP does not include any taxes, installation and/or shipping/ handling costs and are subject to change without further notice.
Read the specifications. See if it will work for your home or business. There are still Renewable Energy Rebates available from the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) and the Federal Government to assist with some of the costs (including installation).
Thanks Ed!

The Story of Stuff….share this with everyone

June 8, 2010

The Story of Stuff is a most interesting story that everyone on this planet should watch, learn, and do something about.
Many of you may not be aware of how much brainwashing is actually going on–to YOUR BRAIN–until you watch this. If you miss the point, you’re totally brainwashed. If you get the point of the story, then don’t just sit there–TAKE ACTION!
Spread the word.
Break the cycle.

Our Solar System Arrives

June 8, 2010

The first pieces of our solar system have officially arrived.  Here Guy Larson from Simply Efficient delivers the first pieces of our solar system–micro-inverters, solar panels, and the communications device (so that we as well as the manufacturer can monitor how much power we’re generating over the internet).

our solar system is delivered.

The begining pieces of our solar system are officially delivered

We are really jazzed about getting this system installed as we work toward a zero carbon footprint home.

Next week the pole arrives and we begin assembling all of the pieces and, then begin making FREE power!  Yippee!

Even though we’ve installed all Energy Star appliances, plus we have an on-demand propane hot water heater, and our walls are minimum 6 feet thick, we have not qualified for any tax credits or rebates.  That was not a deterrent for us.  Now that we’re getting our solar system installed, we’ll actually qualify for rebates through the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) as well as tax credits through the Federal Government.