GO SOLAR (formerly heating)
From: Ross M Donald (rnnworld.std.com)
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 94 13:09 CST
Re: New View Cohousing, Acton MA

Dear List People,

     I've been letting the discussion on heating systems
pile up in my files for a while now.  ...and, well, if
nobody else is going to be the advocate for dispersed
solar, site specific renewables, and small scale
sustainable energy, I'll try.  

     Jim, Nancy, and others (?) from New View are
mightily interested in heating systems.  The group, I'm
sure, has hired competent design help, so I won't debate
their opinions.   Also, I do not want to carry the whole
weight on this topic, or be the sole spokesperson for
saving the planet, as if, I cared any more than anybody
else about these matters.  ("...we're all doing what we
can." - J. Lennon)

     I would, however, like to share with the list what
I'm hearing and what I've experienced.

=>   ...enery efficiency, the chance (eventually) for
=>some households to go off-grid, the use of renewable or
=>at least lower-polluting energy sources...

     Stewart Brand has a book out about How Buildings
Learn, which is most interesting - about evolutionary
design, rather than visionary design.  Nevertheless, it
has been my observation that well-intentioned owner-
builders and new house builders, who "outfit" their
construction to be "solar ready" (pipe runs to the roof,
etc.) NEVER get around to adding the collectors later,
"when the cost of collectors comes down," or "when we can
afford it."

     This halfway approach is usually intended to
accommodate the "environmentalist" in the group (the one
spouse or building partner, who wants solar).  I have
NEVER in twenty years seen such a lukewarm commitment,
fulfilled with a completed system EVER.  On the other
hand, those who have managed to scrape together the
initial installation costs up front, have enjoyed a
positive return on the investment in subsequent energy

     Solar energy systems up and running since the 70s
and 80s have been, now, in 1994, bought and paid for long
ago, and are actually delivering, after all these years,
the free solar energy that everybody wants.


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