Homeowners' Guide to Renewable Energy: Achieving Energy Independence Through Solar, Wind, Biomass and Hydropower (Mother Earth News Wiser Living) Paperback – 1 May 2006
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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