“Net Zero” ain’t always about your Internet Connection…

19 Oct

You know me…

Coming to you… live from my little tiny workspace here in “OMG, Mississippi“…

I usually go on a “Corten Container” filled rant… And, today’s not gonna be any different! No Siree! Except…

This time, I’m gonna talk about how you actually get that Shipping Container home from “across the street”, to “off-grid, across the county and into the countryside…”

That way, you’ll be the ONLY nut in the neighborhood! 🙂

And, I’m not gonna go on a “You have to save the environment all by yourself!” sermon…

We’ve all had just about enough of this “green nonsense”, right?

I mean, if you watch cable TV, you see that it’s possible to go “green”, but it costs you a ton of money! In fact, most of the things you see on TV are just “glitz and glamor”. The “Average Joe” couldn’t possibly afford them, because the “pay-back” happens three years after you’re dead!

And, I’m getting pretty sick and tired of Al Gore…


Don’t get me started…. 😉

You too? Right?


I mean, come on… he used “bad science” to bamboozle his way into a Nobel Peace Prize. Then Obama evidently took lessons, and received a Nobel Peace Prize… for surviving 14 days of the US Presidency. Whaaaa? I used to aspire to winning a Nobel Prize… and now it’s just another sham. 😦

Okay, as most of you know… I’m still not fond of “Al buddy…” Ronin doesn’t like hypocrites. Nuh-uh!

But, you CAN “go green” without having to sell your soul to the devil.

It takes some planning, and a little bit of ingenuity, but it’s possible. In fact, people are doing it all around you! They are too!

Here’s the deal…

You just need to try and manage your assets, and your resources. Then, you design an environment where they work to your benefit. Sounds easy, right?

Well, it’s not easy. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Right?

First, you start where every good idea starts…

NO! Not the bathroom. Well, okay, in my house, most good ideas start there, because it’s the only door that my little boy hasn’t figured out how to open yet. So, instead, he just sticks his fingers under the door, and yells at me;

“Daaaaaaaaa-dy! Daaaad? I bumped! Daaaaad? DAAAAAAADDDDY!”

Ever try to relax enough to come up with a… um… er… never mind.

Anyway, like I was saying, you start thinking about living off-grid, by thinking about what you use.

Sure, you can stock up on Toilet Paper at Walmart, but as far as I know, they don’t sell bottles full of electricity, yet…

So, you start at home. Let’s face it, most of the things that you do in your life, are to make sure that you have a home.  So, it makes sense that you try and make your home work with you, instead of against you.

Enter the “Zero Energy Home”.

Note: Some people refer to this as “Net Zero Living…

Imagine a home that is not only energy efficient, imagine a house that actually makes it’s own power.

Just like a typical home, a Zero Energy Home can be connected to, and use energy from, the local electric utility services. But unlike typical homes, at times that home can make enough power to send some back to the utility company.

“Oh sure…” you say.

Well, it might surprise you to find out that a Zero Energy Home produces enough energy annually to offset the amount purchased from the utility pimps, and that can result in “net-zero” annual energy bills.

But, how does it do it? Is it “Slight of hand?” Sheer Intimidation? Big ole’ “bite yer butt off” dogs out in the yard so that the meter reader can’t get in and do his/her job? Nope!

But… that could be fun… Hmmm…

A Zero Energy Home works FOR you (instead of against you) by combining state-of-the-art, energy-efficient construction techniques and equipment with renewable energy systems to return as much energy as it takes on an annual basis.

Okay, so you might have to redesign your house, or even build yourself a new one, but…

Hey, I didn’t say this was going to be easy! In fact, I already told you that it wasn’t.

Weren’t you paying attention? Hmmm? 🙂

Okay, so when renewable resources (like the sun) cannot provide the entire home’s power (at night or on a cloudy winter day) the homeowner purchases energy from the utility provider.

Otherwise your wife, or your daughter will moan and groan about the end of the world, because their damned “hot curlers” won’t work right…” Oy! 🙂

Now, I don’t have that particular problem, although it’s from a pretty strange reason. My wife is going through Chemotherapy and Radiation treatments. So, no hair!

In fact, my two year old possesses the only head fulla hair in the whole house! Oy…

When renewable resources produce more than the house is using (during sunny days when no one is home) power is sent back into the utility grid.

Now, this can only happen if you don’t have a couch potato that has taken up residence in your living room, parked in front of the TV, playing on the Playstation. Now, there’s a fix for this too, but it involves a well-placed kick, and a butt…

Okay, where were we? Oh yeah… In some cases, the power source will actually spin  the home’s electric meter backwards (it spins in reverse when you’re making power you don’t use) essentially providing you, the  proud homeowner with something resembling full retail value for their energy.

But how is this accomplished?

Man, haven’t you been reading my posts? I’ve talked about Photovoltaics until I was blue in the face… In fact, truth be told, I’m starting to look like Papa Smurf! I’m telling you, I gotta get a better class of readers. I suspect that some of you are just looking at the pretty pictures! 🙂

In the very near future… we’re gonna talk about Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Panels, and Arrays.

Why? Because the knee-bone is connected to the shin-bone… eventually… 🙂

Stay tuned!

The Renaissance Ronin