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Homeowners' Guide to Renewable Energy: Achieving Energy Independence Through Solar, Wind, Biomass and Hydropower (Mother Earth News Wiser Living) Paperback – 1 May 2006

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers (1 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 086571536X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865715363
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,389,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Dan Chiras is an internationally acclaimed author who has published over 24 books, including The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy. He is a certified wind site assessor and has installed several residential wind systems. Dan lives in a passive solar home in Evergreen, Colorado.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After considering many books regarding alternative energy I chose this because, unlike many others, it was not filled with scientific jargon - just very useful and clear information.
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Format: Paperback
It's an okay book with some interesting articles, but it's predominently aimed at the North American market. If you,re looking for renewable energy resources in the UK and Europe, then there are better books available, so shop around.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9722512c) out of 5 stars 25 reviews
73 of 74 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9722cb70) out of 5 stars A great resource for selecting the best RE options for your home 14 Oct. 2006
By John Wills - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a great introduction to essentially all the renewable energy resources available. Chiras takes a sensible, realistic look at a number of options for both reducing your dependence on fossil fuels as well as saving money. He talks about which solutions work best in which climates and gives tips on where to begin wading into renewable energy.

I originally bought the book as a resource to help us select which renewable energy options were viable in our new home design. It served that purpose well but I will also keep it handy as we move forward as Chiras goes beyond the typical introduction and gives planning suggestions and some detailed discussions on sizing and maintenance of a few systems.

Note that this book is targeted at home owners wishing to retrofit their EXISTING homes for renewable energy. Repeatedly throughout the book, Chiras recommended his book "The Solar House" for those of us designing new homes. I plan to read that book before building but still found a lot of useful information in this book.
64 of 68 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9722cbc4) out of 5 stars A decent overview; left me wanting more details. 4 Sept. 2007
By tony mancill - Published on
Format: Paperback
I read this book cover-to-cover over the course of a couple of weeks. I'm new to the field of renewable energy, so you'll have to take my criticisms for what they are, a critique of the writing:

1) The author frequently repeats himself, and sometimes goes so far to state that he is repeating himself, and that the reader should refer back to a previous section.

2) Many of the references are "so and so claims such and such" or references to the Home Power magazine. It's great that the author cites his sources, but it often left me wondering if the author placed any stock in the claim being reported.

3) The author frequently refers to his own house, which was designed from the ground up to use renewable energy. While this is neat, it doesn't seem applicable to readers who already own houses (with a 99% chance that they're not nearly as efficient, and that it's not possible to convert them).

4) I would have enjoyed more information on solar power, since it seems to be the most applicable in urban and suburban areas. Instead, it received basically equal treatment alongside micro-hydroelectric and wind power.

Still, it's a good book - 3.5 stars - and contains a number of references to other sources of information on the topic.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x977cb00c) out of 5 stars Renewable Energy for the Masses 15 Nov. 2006
By JP189 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good book for people who want a better understanding of what can be achieved using renewable energy in a residential application. It only gets 4 stars from me because the author gets a bit preachy at times about his opinions on fossil fuels and future scarcity, high price, etc. He does practice what he preaches and uses personal examples in much of the book.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x977cb1c8) out of 5 stars Good review to renewable energy 4 Nov. 2007
By R. McKown - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be more satisfying that the author's more popular book, "The Solar House". Of course, they aren't functional substitutes for each other. This book goes deeper into renewable energy systems available to address the energy needs of residential buildings and related topics. I appreciate his discussion on conservation, the breakdown of the energy consumption of a 'typical' residence, etc. This book goes deeper into energy than "The Solar House" goes into passive design, providing almost enough information to evaluate and size some systems. The amount of information presented varies by system, as solar photovoltaic and wind power get a more detailed treatment than biomass. For someone wanting enough information to select, size and/or design systems -- or more realistically to evaluate the proposals generated by a systems provider -- supplemental information will probably be required.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97285708) out of 5 stars The ultimate book on Renewable Energy 18 Aug. 2006
By M. Hall - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you only intend to buy one book about renewable energy this is the one for you. It clearly explains all the different RE technologies and gives you all the information to decide which technologies fit your individual situation. For people more familiar with RE, it acts as a great reference book. Highly recommended.
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