Friday, July 04, 2008

Liberal environmentalists: TRS wants you …………….

………… to share any experience you have with home solar systems.

We here at TRS are remodeling our nearly empty nest. We are seriously considering a home solar unit to generate our own electricity ‘cause our house is already all electric.

Does rf or any of the other enviros that visit TRS have solar units or some personal experience or familiarity with such home energy tech.

Share your knowledge and help make Clive just a little cleaner and more renewable.


RF said...


Good for you for considering clean energy. Since I live in a communal housing arrangement like a good liberal, I am not in a position to install a system of my own. But I can point you to a couple of resources.

Iowa Renewable Energy Association,

DNR has a couple of good publications on their site "Midwest Region Consumer's Guide to Buying a Solar Energy System" is a good general resource to educate yourself and "Midwest Solar Yellow Pages" can help you find professionals that sell & install systems.

Solar water heating systems usually have better paybacks. Paybacks for solar PV systems are still pretty darn long, especially since we don't have any state-level consumer rebates or tax credits for solar systems. No sales tax, though, and there are federal tax benefits. Also, there is a good chance that MidAmerican will be offering some sort of a rebate for solar systems starting Jan. 1, 2009.

RF said...

Another good local resource for you would be Center on Sustainable Communities, COSC is geared towards consumer and contractor education about green building. As long as you are working on your house, you definitely want to go for efficiency as much as you can even if you don't opt for solar.

Anonymous said...

I'll find you at the convention and give you some information.

Anonymous said...

oops, found it! go to this website:

Art A Layman said...


It is heartening to see a staunch conservative appealing to liberals for good advice. You would do well to expand the scope of your request for wisdom.

Can't offer you a lot of help. Looked into solar a couple of years ago only to find out that my electricity provider, the only one available to me by government fiat, had no program whatsoever for dealing with solar.

Adding insulation, you've probably already done that, helps, especially around ductwork and ceilings.

Best payback I ever experienced, but it's also not innovative now, was a programmable thermostat, enabling energy management automatically when not at home. Paid for itself in less than 6 months and that was at a time when the cost was $200+.

Good luck with your planning. Would guess you're beginning to realize that gay marriage will indeed increase divorces.

The Real Sporer said...

Thanks fellas.

There is some kind of insulation that I think Steve Deace promotes on his show and put in his house that was on display at the home show. I asked around and several of my contractor clients said it was great. Reduces cost and distributes the heated/cooled air so you stay more comfortale. I'm putting that in the attic. Getting a new wrap over the pipes in the basement and a new high efficiency furnace, AC and pump.

The lack of state tax incentives to buy solar is crazy. I plan to mention that to my GOP legislators to be sure. It seems that solar, wind and hydro should be able to provide all of Iowa's electric needs and the government should be encouraging that end.

RF said...

If you are replacing your furnace & AC, I would recommend you look into a geothermal heat pump and an air-to-air heat pump. Geo is likely to be pricey, but it is extremely efficient. I hear cheaper air-to-air heat pumps are getting close to geothermal system efficiency, so it may the smarter thing to do when you do your numbers. Anyways, both worth looking into.

Anonymous said...

Sporer, which branch of the Military did you serve in?

Anonymous said...

Ten years ago bin Laden called for an oil price of $144/barrel. He got his wish. Another victory at Bush's expense--and our expense, too. Right, Sporer?


RF said...


One more thing. Iowa Energy Center has a nifty solar calculator on its website Go to "Iowa Solar Calculator." It gives you an idea how much energy a solar system would produce for you. Good for preliminary research or to see if a solar salesperson is giving you realistic estimates about potential energy production.

Anonymous said...

Pretty sad that it's the liberals who are living out Teddy Roosevelt's dream of conservation.

Anonymous said...

Would Roosevelt even consider himself a Republican today? I can't imagine he would be screaming to drill everywhere while driving around in a Hummer.

Anonymous said...

TFS, Why don't you just hire some old Dem's and heat the nest with HOT AIR!


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