Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Green book review (and giveaway!): The Complete Idiot's Guide to Renewable Energy for Your Home

Our weekly green book review has moved this week to Tuesday because of technical problems yesterday. Still, it was worth waiting because we have a great book dealing with one of the hottest issues on the green agenda - renewable energy for homes.

Our book today is:

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Renewable Energy for Your Home

Author: Harvey Bryan and Brita Belli

Harvey Bryan has been involved in sustainability and renewable design concerns for some 30 years. He has previously taught at MIT and Harvard and is currently a full professor at Arizona State University. He was on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and is certified in both BREEAM (a rating system used in Europe and Canada), as well as LEED. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors on the Green Building Initiative.

Brita Belli
is the editor of E / The Environmental Magazine, the largest independent magazine dedicated to green issues.

Publisher: Alpha (a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.)

Published on:
July 2009

What this book is about? (from the publisher's website)
An essential how-to on powering your home with sun, wind, water, and more.
For readers wanting to save money—and the planet—by using alternative energy, this book provides everything they need to know. The five basic sources are fully covered: sun, wind, water, earth, and bio.

The benefits, what is needed, and whether it will work for a particular home are all carefully laid out in this comprehensive overview:

• Solar energy for home heating, water heating, and electricity
• Wind power, hydrogen, and micro hydro power
• Heat pumps—air, geothermal, and water source
• Heating with wood and going bio

What we think about it?
Everyone knows renewable energy is good in general and for your home specifically and that it's good for the environment and for your wallet. But what's next? what do you do if you actually decided to move forward and green up your existing or new home with renewable energy devices? That's where this book becomes handy.

There's so much information available about solar, wind, hydropower and other alternative energy sources that you can very easily find yourself more confused and less confident in what you actually need to do.
"The Complete Idiot's Guide to Renewable Energy for Your Home" is trying to make some order in this flood of information and to provide you a guidance that covers all the relevant aspects of choosing and using renewable energy systems at home.

And it does a pretty good job. It gives clear explanations on the options, the benefits, compare between options and even helps you to understand ratings of systems such as solar water heating systems.

The book includes updated information on one of the important issues involved in purchasing a renewable energy system - the benefits you can - tax credits, rebates, etc. There's also information divided to areas as the benefits in Florida are not similar to the ones in the Midwest.

Another important chapter I was glad to see in this book is "Size Matters" that reminds us that one of the sources of the energy problem we have is not only the current sources of energy but the size of the houses, which increased in 140% in the last 4 decades (2,349 square feet in average in the US - 2004 figures).

Bottom line: If you're thinking about getting a renewable energy system for your home, get this book! It may be a little too heavy for the beach but if you find a cool spot take it with you.


We're giving away our review copy of the book, courtesy of the book's publicist, and of course a tree will be planted for the copy!

How you can win? Please add a comment below with an answer the following question: What renewable energy system you would like to have at home? Submissions are accepted until Tuesday, August 25, 12PM EST. The winner will be announced the following day.

If you're looking for other interesting green-themed books, you are invited to check out our green books page on Eco-Libris website's green resources section.

More relevant links:

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Building and Remodeling

Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!


Michael said...

Outstanding giveaway. Personally, I'd like to go to with solar energy.
Thank you!!

Ally in WA said...

For our home I'd have to say that we really want to know more about and learn how to harness solar power.

espressogurl at hotmail dot com

Bettina said...

I would love to have the Wind energy. We have some Wind Farms nearby and they just fascinate me!

bettinawellmaker at gmail dot com

enyl said...

I would like to have some form of solar panels.

Unknown said...

Solar energy would be nice

Steven said...

The back of our house faces south and we'd love to get solar panels.

nfmgirl said...

I always wanted a variety. I wanted to have a place out in the "boonies", and have some solar, some wind (a small windmill, not one of those monsters that explode bats lungs), and a water wheel. I want it all!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Crystal Arcand said...

My husband and I are really interested in solar energy and solar-efficient building.

tina reynolds said...

thanks for the chance i would love to have solar energy and love to more on how to achieve it thanks again eaglesforjack@gmail.com