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Listen Up: Backup Power and Sustainable Off-Grid Living

Hurricanes. Blizzards. Earthquakes. Tornadoes. They've all clobbered populated areas over the last few years, resulting in extended power outages, fuel shortages and even lack of potable water. But people live comfortably in completely off-grid locations, generating their own electricity, using sustainable sources for heat, and even recycling their water.

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These off-grid systems are gradually creeping into mainstream America. Generators are sold in some supermarkets, wood stoves are becoming popular heating options, people are learning how to recover and re-use grey water, and battery backup solar power systems are being rejuvenated by inexpensive batteries coupled with steadily increasing utility power rates. Inevitably, prices for these technologies will become more and more affordable — just as electricity, gas and water become more expensive. 

Our special guest for this week's show is Tod DuBois, CEO of Sangha Energy. Tod's company specializes in off-grid living systems, including battery-backup solar power, generators, and grey water recovery systems. Tune in to this week's Energy Show on Renewable Energy World as Tod and Barry talk about your options for sustainable electricity, heat and water — even in your suburban jungle.

Find more episodes of The Energy Show here.

About The Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don't have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we'll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices. 

About Your Host

Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He's been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Read more renewable energy news here.

Lead image: Green microphone via Shutterstock

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03/01/2015
Volume 18, Issue 3
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