Fair ideas to cut energy bills

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-112188311017428.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of Backward to the future web site’, ‘Solar water heating with vacuum tube heat pipe batch water heater on roof of Oak Grove Sanctuary in Fennville, Mich.’);

It appears high energy costs are here to stay. Many workshops at this year’s Energy Fair will explain how to cut energy bills while still leading comfortable lives.

Christine Hulet, an engineer with Engineering Services Inc., will present ideas for do-it-yourselfers on how to save energy in your home or at the office. She will provide a thorough review of the techniques and resources to save energy and suggest ways to prioritize improvements.

James Cavallo, a home energy auditing expert and associate editor for Home Energy magazine, will suggest ways in which owners of traditional homes can apply energy-saving strategies implemented in historic homes in Galena, including President Grant’s home.

Jim Lamb will describe how a homeowner can make effective, economical use of passive solar energy for heating and photovoltaic installations for electrical generation in a grid-connected or stand-alone home. He will also discuss efficient appliances and transportation options for individuals and families.

Bill Fabian, Midstates Renewable Energy Services, will provide a real world discussion of his hybrid solar electric and wind system for his home in Urbana. Bill designs, installs and services such systems, but always starts his work with an energy audit to point out ways to save energy before generating one’s own power. It is the economically sensible way to approach renewable energy.

Workshops will explain how to install solar hot water heater systems. Brandon Leavitt of Solar Service and his team have installed more than 300 systems in Illinois since 2001. Topics covered will include both closed loop drain back and antifreeze systems, system sizing, proper collector mounting and orientation, controls and sensors, insulation techniques and system start-up procedures.

Richard Orawiec, Backwards to the Future, will discuss how to install a modern domestic hot water heater for your home. He will discuss collector types, how they work and safety concerns. Learn what to expect from your system whether you install it yourself or hire a professional installer.

Steve Brooks, a long-time renewable energy advocate, will provide an overview of solar history from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s with an emphasis on educational materials.

John Root, Energy Services adviser for Muscatine, Iowa, will present the history of wind from 200 B.C. to the present. He will also explain the Rebuild America program and review the accomplishments of the Rebuild Muscatine, Iowa program. Both focus on commercial opportunities for saving energy.

Small commercial business operations have faced dramatic increases in energy bills. Lou VanderWyst, owner of the Conover Square Mall in Oregon, will share the actions he has taken to cut energy bills at the mall and his plans for future energy savings.

Illinois continues to lead the country with solar electric installations on schools. Glen Kizer, who has played a key role with these installations, will explain why solar electricity on our schools is important to our energy future and why it works so well. Ironically, some schools and colleges are reluctant to install systems while others are eager for them.

Attend the Energy Fair and bring some energy-saving ideas home. The Fair is sponsored by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Commonwealth Edison.

From the July 20-26, 2005, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!