Renewable Energy Tour

BPEG held their Third renewable energy tour yesterday.  It seemed to be well received.

We had 114 attendees, which is a remarkably high number, and all we can accomodate.  About 30% were from the local area – the highest percentage ever.  It is good that many club members and other local people got a taste for renewable technologies in place on the Peninsula.  It is also gratifying to see the interest from places like Woodstock, Kitchener, Barrie etc.  These people came 2-4 hours to learn more about renewable energy.  Truly remarkable.

Enerworks showed their solar hot water pre-heater.  It will produce about half of a typical family’s hot water, using the panel to gather energy from sun, and transfer into a pre-heat water tank.

Dave Cook was showing his small wind turbine at his home, as well as a wood pellet stove, and solar thermal heating.  The Cook’s home is a showpiece of renewable technology.  The small turbine was taking advantage of the steady east winds coming off Georgian Bay.  The wood pellet stove gets rid of some of the mess associated with wood heating, and is thermostatically controlled, adjusting the fuel feed to adjust the room temperature.  The solar thermal panels feed heat into 3 150 gallon tanks to store heat for later release into the home.

Josh from Next Energy provided tours of the Steven’s home, which has geothermal heat.  The system uses electricity and heat pump to pump heat out of a fluid that circulates under the front year.  It uses one unit of electricity to get 3-4 units of heat.  Needless to say the Steven’s are very happy with their home heating bill, which is very low for a house the size of theirs.

Bob McArthur showed his small wind/photovoltaic setup, complete with batteries.  He still keeps attached to the Hydro One grid, but is moving steadily toward operating completely off grid.  Bob and Pauline run a bed and breakfast at their home, and he pointed out some of the small things they have done to reduce electricity use.  Guests use wind up alarm clocks instead of electric ones.  The Hydro One umbilical cord will eventually be severed.

Sara organized a tasty lunch, complete with homemade pie, and organic buns from Harvest Moon Bakery.  Sara had great support from club volunteers who helped with food preparation, serving, clean up, and decorating.  It was this strong team of volunteers that is the bedrock of the club.

Success of such a day is measured in the actions taken by people when they return home.  If they implement some of the conservation ideas included in their information packet, if they buy new appliances smarter, if they implement some of the renewable energy ideas on, then the day will have been a success.  We hope that we have planted ideas with 114 people, and that they take the next step to action.

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