Kelly Mead | |

Are you handy or even willing to try to be then how about visiting Instructables Alternative Energy DIY? Following our renowned and highly technical search of the internet we found this great site. Yup, that’s right we just stumbled on it while researching something totally different. So we just had to join and tell you about it.

Though in all fairness we should warn you that we haven’t tried any of their posted DIY (do it yourself) yet so please be wary. They list great projects such as Solar Thermal Water Heater For Less Than Five Dollars, 1000 watt wind turbine , Solar Heater, Make Your Own Biodiesel!, Solar Power System,Building a micro solar generator, and many more. Plus they have a category devoted to going green. The site has been online since June 2005 according to alexa and linked to from over 1700 other sites. So some of you may know about the site, for those who didn’t give it a look.

We will have to try some of these projects and let you know what we think. If they work we will certainly let you know. If you try one first let us know how it went. It’s science fair time for our children so we are already tied up on the new project front for a little while. Of course we encouraged them, though it wasn’t hard, to do something with renewable energy. Nice to see it is now an accepted project now. A few years ago when our son was doing his first it wasn’t on the list. The younger they are exposed to the possibility that having wires run to your home is not necessary the better.

I do have to say that when problem arise, like they always do, our children have been very encouraging to complete our goal of getting completely off the grid. Still being in a suburban (almost urban) environment has added challenges and the economy right now really isn’t helping but we are determined. Making the small changes we have and now moving to more major ones has been an adventure. One that has already produced results. We have lowered our utilities bill to the local gas and electric company by about $200 a month just in the past year. That means in last three years we have cut in half our winter bill form over $800 to between $250 to $375. It seems amazing that just changing how we used energy, adding additional insulation, changing to energy star appliances and light bulbs could make such a significant change. Take into account that we had a significant increase in our energy costs in Maryland in the last two years and its even more amazing. So our hope is that by the end of this summer we will have panels installed to supplement if not totally power our home. We just need to remove three more trees so that the panels on our roof won’t be covered. Then up we go to install them.

Hey and with some of the project we found at Instructables we should be able to try them out. The one for solar thermal water heater for less then $5 has definitely caught our attention.

Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site

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