Power from the sun
They completed their energy-efficient home in 1977. Efficiency began with a south-facing site and design features such as proper building materials, roof area and overhang. Insulation, efficient windows, weather stripping, green appliances and a solar water heater is also part of the formula.
Pete Pirotte, also of rural Republic, uses a solar water heater, a tankless gas water heater and a solar cooker, along with insulation and weather stripping.
A current project is a wind generator. He is not yet using power from it, but expects to do so soon.
Another recent addition is four photovoltaic panels that will be put in service soon. Other works in progress or planned include expansion of a solar space heater already used to heat a bathroom; and a solar outside wall warmer.
Pirotte is experimenting with making fuel ethanol from waste fruit, grain and paper, using fermentation and distillation processes.
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