Humble Rants ... and informs 19 September 2012

Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2012 in Opinion

Humble Rants ... and informs 19 September 2012

by Robert Skoglund aka The humble Farmer

Some people get together and form a company that they hope will make them money, generating electricity for their neighbors. And some of said neighbors who read about it in the paper think it is a good idea and some don’t. What it boils down to at any stage of the game is who is going to get their hands on the money. And Maine citizens jaw about it back and forth and let it go at that.

Of course, the way to go in rural Maine is to have your own solar photovoltaic panels and solar water heaters on your house. But the folks who make their money providing energy for us have showed us printed facts and figures that prove that solar energy is not economically feasible in Maine. And if you say something over and over, a certain class of people will believe that it must be true — and so they continue to feed the pig.

Am I the only person in Maine who has seen his electric bill cut in half even as he heats his cellar for free by building his own solar water heaters and having friends at Revision Energy hook up some Canadian photovoltaic panels in his backyard?

Before I built these solar hot water heaters I was heating my water with an oil-fired boiler. So I don’t even factor in the savings in oil expenses even as my light bill is cut in half.

I discovered that the eight water heaters I made with my own calloused hands did such a great job heating our domestic hot water that I hooked them up to some pex pipes I put into the 22’ x 12’ cellar floor under the new addition on my house. I’ve insulated and finished off that cellar room and would have moved my office down into my “mole hole” last week if I hadn’t spent so much time at my computer writing rants.  

On Oct. 13 I have been invited to be part of a Solar Tour. That is, many of us who are getting free energy from that big light bulb in the sky will have a “Solar Tour” sign out by the road in front of our homes. Interested parties will drive around Maine with a little map that tells where all of the solar units are located. Home owners will be on deck to explain how their solar units work and answer questions.

True. Most of the people who have solar units are rich kids from away. If you read about it, it would scare you because boughten units are wicked expensive. But a couple of us with more need than money went down to the dump and dragged home some material and built our own.

You are right. There are disadvantages to saving money by using free energy from the sun. The other day, when the town manager stopped by to help catch some cow friends that had made a bid for freedom, I invited him down into my solar-heated cellar. 

He looked around with approbation and said, “You got a building permit?”

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