Alternative Energy–Part 3–Passive solar energy

Alternative Energy–Part 3–Passive solar energy

By Dan Slattery

Alternative Energy,

Part 3—

Passive solar engery

There exists a vicious cycle that seems to indicate that those who are in the most need for alternative energy sources are those who can least afford it. While the upstart costs may be anywhere from low to high, the immediate and future savings will be apparent. It simply makes economic sense, from a business or homeowner’s point of view, especially now, considering the higher costs of electricity, natural gas and other “traditional” fuels and energies.

The costs must be and are competitive over standard methods. It must be and is economic and viable from the do-it-yourselfer to the professional installer and everyone in between.

Society must shift now to free, renewable, self-sustaining and independent forms and sources of energy.

For example, DeWayne Silberhorn, owner of Homesmart Systems, Inc. in Rockford, has the only fully daylit building facility in the Rockford area, including office, workshop and storage areas. In an attempt to avoid technicalities here, I must be brief; but you must see this effect to believe it. This “solatube” technology comes in various size and price ranges for the do-it-yourselfer or professionally installed.

For more information, call DeWayne at (815) 654-1341 or visit 6914 Forest Hills Rd., Loves Park ( For more technical information on “solatube” systems, you can also contact the McRae Agency at 1-619-230-1282 ( Homesmart Systems also sells self-powered solar attic fans. Cost savings there are twofold–no external power used and more effective attic cooling. They also teach installations for free.

Illinois state tax incentive programs are available that can pay up to 60 percent of the cost of a passive and/or active solar energy system. For more information, contact Advanced Energy Solutions, Inc., 186 Gates Rd., Pomona, IL 62975, or call 1-618-893-1717 ( The Midwest Renewable Energy Association offers year-round workshops on such subjects as solar, water and space heating systems, in-floor radiant heat systems, solar domestic hot water installation, masonry heaters, also books such as “cooking with the sun” (how to build and use solar cookers, patterns and recipes).

At their 12th annual Renewable Energy & Sustainable Living Fair this summer (June 22-24), specific workshops will be given–solar water heating, solar air systems for space heat, geothermal heating/cooling, keeping cool without an air conditioner, insulated window treatments, build your own solar oven, and much, much more.

Hurry, time for this event is running short. Call 1-715-592-6595, fax at 1-715-592-6596, or visit ( The information and technologies are here and now. You must simply pick up these “tools” and use them. Consumer, educate thyself. The savings, independence and peace of mind are yours to be had.

Next, we’ll look at wind power.

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