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Clean energy for home grabs attention at Energy Fair

FRIday - 04/07/2014 12:14 - Viewed: 1687
When David DeMarco of Finger Lakes, N.Y., finally had a chance to attend the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s Energy Fair, he found a way to reduce heating costs at his winery.
DeMarco was among the thousands who attended the 25th annual three-day festival, which began Friday. The event is held in Custer and features a variety of demonstrations, workshops and exhibits where people can learn about clean energy products.
On Saturday, DeMarco connected with the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance, a nonprofit based in Minnesota that provides solar heating systems to low-income families and also sells the products at market rate. DeMarco looked into purchasing the solar panels to install at his Seneca Shore Wine Cellars.
Heather Butcher, production manager for the organization, said installing the panels could save a family up to 25 percent on its normal winter heating costs. She has attended the Energy Fair with RREAL for four years and said the organization’s goal is to spread awareness about RREAL’s work and build a network.
Butcher said her organization has done hundreds of installations of solar heating systems and that most families are happy with the results.
“It gives them that little bit of extra money in the winter,” Butcher said.

DeMarco (left) is asking about solar panel
She also said the organization has a waiting list for low-income families seeking to install solar systems.
“There are many families that we’d like to help that we just don’t have the resources to,” Butcher said, adding that the organization relies heavily on grant and government funding.
Other families interested in lowering their bills found North Wind Renewable Energy, a Stevens Point solar installer that started in 2007. North Wind first started attending the Energy Fair in 2008, Josh Stolzenburg said.
At this year’s fair, Stolzenburg and his co-workers displayed some of the technology they can install, including a wood gasification boiler.
“It’s a really great piece of equipment,” said Stolzenburg, one of the four owners of North Wind.
Unlike other outdoor wood burners, which Stolzenburg said release emissions into the air, the wood gasification burner pulls all of the energy from the wood, puts it into water and uses that to power a building.
“These are actually a lot safer than a wood stove or an outdoor wood boiler,” Stolzenburg said.
Although North Wind usually attends the fair to spread awareness about its company , Stolzenburg said he got a surprise this year.
“Today, I was just handed a check — first contract we ever signed at the fair,” he said.

Source: tietkiemnangluong.com.vn