Archive Of The Category ‘solar‘


Batteries A-Go-Go!

Image via Green Change Marin

California’s spate of public safety power shutoffs (PSPSs) last year has inspired a surge of battery sales this year, as the peak fire season approaches. Scientific American reports, “the share of [Sunrun’s] solar customers who are also installing energy storage was more than 60% in the San Francisco Bay Area this spring.” Sheltering in place is a big factor, with entire families reliant on home-based, electricity-powered tools for work, education, and recreation seven days a week.

Last month I helped Green Change, a Marin County-based non-profit, put together a concise, consumer-friendly web resource on household batteries of all sizes, with prices from under $100 to $10,000+. Check it out!

A read about the benefits of batteries over generators is here.

If you have a battery, I’d love to hear about your experience with it!

Back in the Swing!

girl sitting on swing

Image via Pexels


It’s been a bit more than a year since I posted, and what a year it’s been! Besides all the global madness, I moved last July from Pacifica to Petaluma, California. I love it here and feel a bit like that girl on the swing. Life is good. Notwithstanding — you know. These are exciting times, change is afoot, and I still have faith that I’ll see great things happen in my lifetime.

I have three things to share today:

  1. Team Zero’s annual residential zero energy/zero carbon inventory is ON, for the 5th time! Add new projects or provide updates about projects you’ve inventoried before, HERE. We’re especially excited to learn more about what’s powering North American zero energy homes: what’s the mix of sun, electricity from the grid, and fossil fuels? Help us find out, so we can report on this to you all in the fall!
  2. With my dear friend and co-conspirator, Peter Yost, I’ve started a monthly blog series on Green Building Advisor. (It’s behind a paywall, but there’s a free trial available, and/or you can subscribe monthly — and GBA is a great resource, in case you don’t already know that.) Pete and I call the series “Building Bedrock,” but GBA uses the more sedate title of “Best Practices.” It’s a ton of fun. Each month Pete and I take on a new theme and expound on it from our unique perspectives. You get to see where we converge and diverge. So far, we’ve posted an intro and Part 1 (“Setting Priorities”), with nine more in the works. Beam in on the third Thursday of each month for the next installment.
  3. My esteemed colleagues at Zero Energy Ready Oregon have put out a new online resource, “Cost Effective Steps to Zero.” It’s a nice overview with clear illustrations and simple steps. This is a good introduction to the topic for novice audiences, and includes lots of links to deeper dives (including several of my publications, I’m happy to add).

Happy Solstice Week, my friends!