Thursday, February 14, 2008

And Speaking of Blowing....

Happy Valentine's Day, Friends!

I hope you're having a lover-ly one and thought that today would be a good day to talk about love, destiny and the winds of change. Minus the love and destiny part.

Today's post isn't about me ::gasp:: it's about my super-cool Aunt Anita and Uncle Jim. You know what they did last year? They installed a windmill on their property! How awesome is that?

Now before you start thinking that AA and UJ are super-rich or uber-eco, let me tell you, they are as average as the rest of us. They live in a modest, but beautifully restored farmhouse in upstate New York. Uncle Jim worked for the local paper mill for many years and Aunt Anita raised four sons and a daughter.

But back to the Don Quixote side of the story. Aunt Anita has been keeping me in the loop with their wind-blown activities and she sent me the following information and told me I could share it with you all.

I thought you'd like to know that last month we produced more electricity than we used (800 kWh) so all we owe National Grid this month is the $16.00 equipment use fee that everyone has to pay to be hooked to the grid. That was our first full month with the windmill in use so we are very pleased. At the time the meter was read we had about 40 KWH stored on the grid. That's not the case at this time but we still have a few weeks before the meter is read again so if we get enough windy days we might have another good month. If only I could find a way to dry clothes in the winter??? The dryer uses about 5 kWh a load and on wash day it really drives up the usage. I guess this summer I'm going to be using my clotheline for something other than a place for the birds to perch.

Yeah, that's right, everybody in my family is a comedian. ;-)

Anyhow, Aunt Anita was kind enough to also pass along a link to Bergey Wind Power Company, the manufacturers of their wind turbine. The have a ton of information and FAQ's on wind power, so if you're interested check them out.

Also, did you know that there are a number of government programs, grants and tax deductions available to homeowners who implement alternative energy sources such as windmills and solar panels? Most of the money available for these programs are state funded, so do a Google search for "[Your State] grants windmill" or "[Your State] grant solar panels" to see what is available in your area.

I guess what I want you to understand is that you don't have to be a live-in-the-woods, eat-off-the-land, wear-animals-for-clothes and compost-your-own-feces type of environmentalist to go off-grid. But if you can't install your own windmill and the sun don't shine enough where you live, at least switch your energy supplier to a renewable energy source today! It's a lovely way to show how much you care -- about the planet.

Happy V-Day!



Green Bean said...

I love to see ordinary people doing stuff like that. Thanks for sharing. Happy V Day!

leslie said...

Big Valentine Kisses and hugs to AA and UJ.
Our Homeowners ASSociation doesn't allow things like windmill towers. Then again, they don't allow clotheslines or hot air ballons either. (seriously)

Wendy said...

My husband and I have been debating the merits of the different residential alternative energy sources and have come to the conclusion that, for our area, wind would probably work better than solar. Thanks so much for the link. It will make our research much easier ;).

Happy Valentine's Day!

brainella said...

I think our HOA president's head would explode if we put up something like that in our back yard. Would be a nifty thing. We cannot even have a clothes line back there.

MamaBird said...

Even here in DC (the city) we have access to renewable energy sources (you can choose your supplier via Pepco). Would LOVE a windmill but I don't think the rowhouse brick patio can support it!

Jim and Cathy said...

It is nice to see the spotlight and information on my parents windmill. It is really interesting to see how it is saving them so much each month in electricity costs.


just ducky said...

OK, this is off topic...but I just read this over at your sister's website:

PLEASE NOTE: We will never charge more for plus sizes.
All people are created equally as far as we're concerned and we see no need to charge extra,
no matter what size you are. All gowns require just about the same amount of fabric, and the same amount of work, no matter what the size is.

Can I just say I love her now like she is one of my own sisters? I thought she was humorous before, but I'm a fat girl and I LOVE that she wrote this...I am always paying THROUGH THE NOSE for crappy clothes. The quality clothes are non-existent or super expensive. The fact that she makes these clothes available to all at the same price makes me feel "normal" and let me tell you...I haven't felt like that in a while...

Bravo, sister of Burbanmom! You are my hero!

anita7212 said...

Hi Erin,
FYI we owed National Grid $10.00 this month. So far the windturbine has produced 95% of our electrical needs and we are very pleased. We now pray for the windy days instead of complaining about them.
Aunt Anita