The Home Power


Richard Perez

©2003 Richard Perez

Home Power is the work of many people. Long gone are the days when Karen and I published this magazine from our kitchen table with just a little help from our friends. Just as the use of independent, clean energy sources has grown over the years, so has the Home Power crew. These days, it takes a big crew working long hours to keep the information flowing to you.

The magazine has become fatter, more detailed, and of higher quality, and its production has grown more complicated. We've added our CD-ROMs, a few books, and a very extensive Web site to our offerings—and to our workload. We're doing all we can to provide you with current, accurate, and realistic RE information.

As we've grown, the crew has become more specialized. While we all still wear many hats, it takes the individual talents of the whole crew to keep the business and our mission on track. My hats are off to every one of our dedicated people. We're publishing photos and a short bio written by each crew member and regular contributor, so you can see the whole top-notch, deranged crew that puts together Home Power.

And we can't do it without our readers, who write most of the articles, help pay the bills, and give us the inspiration we need to keep doing what we're doing. Your mail, calls, visits at fairs, and good energy keep us flying. We consider you family—please do the same with us!

Richard Perez

Publisher & Digital Janitor

While I facilitate the work of Home Power's editorial, art, advertising, production, sales, Web, and CD-ROM crews, my primary job is Digital Janitor. I maintain and upgrade Home Power's extensive computer systems, a monumental task. I also write articles and editorials. I've been living and working off-grid since 1970 with a photovoltaic/wind RE system. When I'm not working, I like tinkering with Macintosh computers, amateur radio (N7BCR) and electronics, and watching movies with my sweetheart, Karen. My goal is to change the way people make electricity. Small-scale renewable energy can solve many of our environmental and human problems. • [email protected]

Karen Perez

Publisher & Business Manager

My duties at Home Power include managing the money, paying the bills, keeping business ducks in their proper rows, being a database grunt, doing weird business research (paper, trademarks, UPCs, distributors, etc.), cooking for the crew, and acting as mediator and den mother. My love and joys are critters (currently three dogs and eight cats), gardening, playing with string (knitting, needlepoint, etc.) while listening to audio books or watching movies, loving my bear, and reading. • [email protected]

Joe Schwartz

CEO & Technical Editor

My work life with Home Power is happily schizophrenic. In the office, I help organize the magazine's direction, projects, and crew. I write articles and equipment reviews, shoot photos, and edit text and graphics for technical accuracy. In the field, I install renewable energy hardware for testing, and collect performance data. I'm finishing up my licensing requirements for Oregon's Renewable Energy Technician program. Further afield, I'm busy homesteading an off-grid piece of land east of Ashland, Oregon. I drive a biodiesel pickup, and I don't use petrol fuels for cooking, heating, or electric backup. In my spare time, I play guitar and ramble about in the backcountry. • [email protected]

Benjamin Root

Art Director

My degree in graphic design prepared me for the workplace, but not for the shock of our ethic-less economy. I often found myself designing pieces to promote the very aspects of society that I think are its largest problems. Graphic design is about communication, and I didn't believe in what I was being paid to communicate. After selling everything but the VW van, and spending a magical summer in Colorado studying at Solar Energy International, I had a mission. By doing design, layout, and illustration at HP, I now have something of value to communicate—information that interests me and benefits humanity and the planet. • [email protected]

Linda Pinkham

Managing Editor

My job is to make sure the editorial and advertising components of the magazine are brought together into a finished and quality product. I am an editor, the keeper of the style guide, and the ring mistress of proofing. I focus on the details and keep track of corrections and suggestions from our editors, authors, and advertisers, without losing sight of our goal. I live and garden on four acres amongst the pear orchards outside of Medford, Oregon with my husband, three dogs, numerous cats, and a horse. We recently installed a 2.1 KW (rated) grid-intertie PV system. When I'm not watching the meter spin backwards, I like to go backpacking in the Siskiyous and Cascades. •

[email protected]

Connie Said

Advertising Manager

I joined the HP staff in 1999 after finishing my degree in anthropology. My primary job is to manage all aspects of HP's advertising accounts, beginning with ad sales all the way through to final publication and billing. I am continually inspired by the passion our advertisers have about changing the way the world makes energy. I live with my 16-year-old daughter, who tells me to breathe as she jumps off mountains to go paragliding. My son is a grad student in engineering at Stanford University and likes to ski, very fast. My children are my joy, and they keep life interesting! My current hobby is collecting and growing heirloom seeds, and being part of a seed exchange to help preserve our plant biodiversity. • [email protected]

Rick Germany

Chief Information Officer

I'm responsible for all aspects of information technology (IT) and systems, including HP's Web site. I have more than ten years experience in Internet technologies and database integration. My goals include re-engineering Home Power's business processes and IT infrastructure to make them more productive and efficient for the end user and the HP crew. My job allows me to work with technology while supporting the growth of energy technologies that benefit our planet. Yes, I'm a geek with a conscience, and a dabbling activist. When I'm not plugging away at the computer, I enjoy exploring the outdoors with my wife near our home in beautiful Ashland, Oregon. •

[email protected]

Ian Woofenden

Senior Editor & Word Power Columnist

My primary job with Home Power is to edit the articles and columns. I take the rough text and try to make it clear and readable for you. I really enjoy working with the authors. Later I proofread the articles, columns, and other text to find the bugs we missed in edit. I write Word Power, do an occasional interview, answer reader inquiries, put together the Letters and Q&A sections, and evaluate articles. And I try (in vain) to keep up with the rest of my over-full life, which includes putting up wind generators, coordinating SEI workshops, trimming trees, singing, and trying to keep my large, off-grid family busy, fed, and laughing. • [email protected]

Eric Grisen

Graphic Designer & Article Submissions Coordinator

I work with images, words, and tools at Home Power. I split my time coordinating and soliciting new articles for the magazine, and working on the magazine's layouts, illustrations, and ads. I also write and work on progressive construction and RE projects. My publishing background includes reporting for newspapers, writing for whitewater paddling magazines, and managing editorial projects at a large publishing house. I enjoy traveling with my partner Tiffany, making our own biodiesel from waste vegetable oil, kayaking, mountain biking, Macintosh computers, recycling everything, stinky dogs, and staying active in local environmental and political arenas. I live with renewable energy and telecommute from the Siskiyou Mountains in Williams, Oregon. • [email protected]

Michael Welch

Senior Research Editor & Power Politics Columnist

My jobs at Home Power include editorial researcher and political commentator. I also answer most of the e-mail from our readers, and assist the editorial staff with indexing, editing, proofing, and other assignments as they come up. In 2003, I celebrated my fourteenth year of involvement with Home Power. My other work is a volunteer position with Redwood Alliance, a nonprofit that works strictly on energy issues. I do most of my work from Arcata, California. The rest of my life is well filled, including enjoying my wonderful daughter, Emilly, a future solar bozo. • [email protected]

Marika Rose Kempa

Customer Service/Circulation

My duties at Home Power include sales of subscriptions and products, database management, and general office work. Being raised in the country, I was shown by my parents how to respect nature. My five siblings and I learned how to make our environment a playground. Away from work, my husband and I enjoy taking our three dogs camping and hiking. I am proud to be part of a company that makes a difference in our world. • [email protected]

Shannon Ryan

Customer Service/Circulation

I'm a relative newcomer to Home Power and love working for a company whose mission is to help preserve the planet and its resources. I help in our office doing circulation-related tasks, such as answering calls about subscriptions and other customer service matters. I pack orders for our products, back issues, and miscellany. After hours, I love gardening, walking in Oregon's beauty, learning to play the guitar, and spending time with my two rascally parrots. I'm passionate about animals, wildlife, and protecting our dwindling resources. I support various environmental groups attempting to constructively change the present course. • [email protected]

Scott Russell

Marketing Director

The newest crew member, I'm devoted full time to expanding Home Power's reach and making sure that we keep up with the diverse needs of a rapidly evolving readership. This means analyzing survey data, managing distributor relationships, creating marketing materials, juggling logistics for energy fair exhibitions, etc. I come from a broad background in business administration, information management, RE retail sales, and system installation. Recently back from a six-month stint doing PV work in Nepal, these days I'm busy nursing my very first crop of Oregon veggies, sussing out the local bike routes, and trying to remember the names of the crew's myriad dogs. • [email protected]

AJ Rossman

Data Acquisition Specialist

I am excited to have just joined the Home Power crew to help with data acquisition and product reviews. My academic background is in electrical engineering, geology, and environmental engineering. I teach a renewable energy design course at the University of Vermont, where I am a Ph.D. candidate researching the applications of renewable energy for groundwater remediation. I am also the president of Draker Solar Design, LLC, an electrical and ecological engineering firm that specializes in environmental data acquisition and display. My wife Kathy and I live in Burlington, Vermont and are eagerly awaiting the birth of our first child. • [email protected]

Ken Olson

Solar Thermal Editor

I edit and author solar thermal articles for Home Power. Practical training in solar energy has been my full-time occupation since 1981. At Solar On-Line (SoL), I teach practical workshops and on-line distance courses. I co-founded Solar Energy International in 1991, and have trained PV technicians for the World Health Organization since 1989. In 1999, I took my family (Barb, Kristin, Sander, and Kaitlyn) to Oaxaca, Mexico for a school year and a change in perspective. We discovered a new way of looking at things and have yet to find our way home to Colorado. My goal is to help more people use solar energy for a cleaner, safer, more prosperous, and peaceful world. • [email protected]

Chuck Marken

Solar Thermal Technical Reviewer

I am a licensed electrician, plumber/gasfitter, and HVAC contractor, and I review selected HP articles for technical accuracy. I started installing solar heating systems in 1979 and PV in 1983. New Mexico's multiple climate zones gave our business the opportunity to install and service virtually every kind of solar energy system. My wife Juanita and I have been married for 31 years, and our house and water are heated with solar energy. Our shop is also solar heated, and we use PV to offset utility electricity usage. Whitewater rafting, photography, video editing, cantina ambiance evaluation, and fooling with computers round out my life. •

[email protected]


Solar Thermal Technical Reviewer

I assist Ian and Linda by reviewing solar space and water heating articles for technical errors and clarity. I also contribute to What the Heck? features, Tips from the Pros sidebars, and Q&A answers. I actually wanted the HP janitorial position, but that was already taken. So they said, "Why don't you clean up articles instead of bathrooms?" I figured I've got to start somewhere, and said OK. When not adding to my 26 years in the industry, I put on my starving artist hat and add to my scar collection by playing with lava (blowing glass). • [email protected]

Shari Prange

Transportation Editor & Author

I grew up in Illinois, and moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 1978. In 1982, my VW was towed into Brown's Auto Service, home of Electro Automotive. By 1983, Mike Brown and I had joined both our personal and business lives. My auto education was on-the-job. In 1988, I put my background as a writer to use as Mike and I coauthored Convert It. My niche is taking technical information and turning it into simple language that a nontechnical person can understand. We live and work in the Santa Cruz mountains, with our two cats and a boa constrictor. We solicit and consult on alternative transportation articles for HP. • [email protected]

Mike Brown

Transportation Editor & Author

I'm a Nebraska native, and I studied engineering briefly at the University of Wyoming before settling in the San Francisco Bay area in 1965. I worked as a mechanic at various auto dealerships, but my specialty was Volkswagens. In 1975, I opened my own auto repair shop and gas station. During the gas crisis of 1979, a customer asked me to build an electric car. I discovered a dearth of conversion parts suppliers. So I founded Electro Automotive, and eventually closed my gas car repair business to work full time on electric cars. I now live in the Santa Cruz, California area, and run Electro Automotive with my wife, Shari Prange. • [email protected]

Kathleen Jarschke-Schultze

Home & Heart Columnist

I had a great childhood in a large family in California's Napa Valley. Checkered past: Psychiatric Technician, EMT, Owner/Rider of a BMW R90/6, Restaurateur, and On-Grid Consumer. Now: Mail-Order Bride, Homesteader, Bee Wrangler, Organic Gardener, Vermi-Composter, Rose Rustler, Garlic Grower, Haus Frau, Cookbook Collector, Solar Cook, Basket Weaver, Self-Proclaimed Vidiot, Raconteur, Avid Reader, International Author, Workshop Presenter, RE Appliance Queen, Tai Chi Student, Trekker, Devoted Dog Mom, Tarot Reader, Fairy Sister—Energy Park Electric Co. at OCF, Ham—KB6MPI, Sainted Wife of Bob-O, Home Power's First Hired & Retired, Renaissance Woman, Optimist, Survivor. • [email protected]

John Wiles

Code Corner Columnist

I am a program manager at the Southwest Technology Development Institute at New Mexico State University. I assist the PV industry, electrical contractors, and electrical inspectors in understanding the PV requirements of the National Electrical Code (NEC). I drafted the text for Article 690 in the 2002 NEC Handbook, and serve as secretary for an NFPA-appointed task group involved with Article 690. I installed my first PV system in 1984, and live in an off-grid, PV/wind-powered home (permitted and inspected, of course) with my wife Patti, two dogs, and two cats. • [email protected]

Don Loweburg

Independent Power Providers Columnist

I was born in 1943 in Los Angeles, California. After being in the army, I completed an MS (Physics) on the GI bill. My wife Cynthia and I own and operate Offline Independent Energy Systems, and have been in business since 1983. The company is a licensed California contractor, specializing in the sale, design, installation, and service of RE systems. We have lived off-grid for 22 years with a solar and microhydro system. I research and write the Independent Power Providers column in HP. I also teach algebra part-time at a local junior college, and sit on the boards of IPP and CalSEIA. • [email protected] ^

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