Our beloved annual Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair is coming up soon. Put on by the Texas Solar Energy Society, the Fair is now in it’s 11th year and coming to historic and fun Fredericksburg, Texas September 24th through September 26th, 2010. I go every year and am never there enough time. There is always so much to see, do and learn for people of all ages. Children 12 and under are FREE. Tickets are $10.00 to $12.00 and available at the gate. There are so many booths set up to learn about so much. There are food vendors, talks about any green living topic you can imagine and all at a very reasonable entry fee.
This years talks include information on small wind systems, saving water, rainwater collection, city gardening, aquaponics, wild plants, compressed earth block building, Net Zero homes, Geothermal Systems, organic farming and ranching, solar cars, solar cooking, photovoltaic systems, greenwashing and more!! There are natural cooking demos and I guarantee you will learn a lot about many topics. I hope to see you there!! I’ll probably wear my TOFGA, Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners t shirt I got at the fair last year when I joined that great organization. There is usually a ride share set up to share rides to the fair from the Austin Texas Metro Area. I am looking at all the talks now and having a hard time deciding which day to go, I think I will go to all three!!!
Sometimes new green jargon is a lot for the newly green to feel comfortable with. Net zero is a term with many definitions but all run in a similar vein. In a nutshell, net zero means no overall energy consumption or “net zero” and zero annual carbon emissions. In other words, even though some energy is used, the energy is from renewable energy sources and no energy is purchased from the grid or external energy producers because the home produces as much energy as it consumes. Hence the term “off the grid”. There is extensive information out there for the person wanting to learn more about net zero. The White House is doing research on net zero energy green building design technologies and strategies. According to the Federal paper on Net-Zero Energy, High Performance Green Buildings (October 2008), “the greenest energy is that which is not used”. Are net-zero homes affordable for the average consumer? One builder, Ideal Homes based out of Norman, Oklahoma built a zero energy home for under $200,000. Why can’t we do this other places too where lot prices are reasonable? I am always dissapointed when I attend green home events and home prices are so high the average consumer could never afford them. You Tube has many videos on Net-Zero Energy, Zero Energy homes and buildings. Wikipedia has several definitions of zero-energy building. ASHRAE or the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers does a lot of research and has a lot of information on Net-Zero homes and commercial buildings.
Home Sweet Net-Zero Home, oh give me that kind of Texas Organic Home!