Building with Value '93: A Resource-Efficient Construction Conference and

Trade Show will be held on November 12-13, 1993 at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. For the "greater" building industry. Practical workshops, expert talks, roundtables, and a "green" product exhibit will show how you can build structures that save energy, protect the environment, and vitalize the economy. For more information contact Kathleen O'Brien, POB 10705, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, 206-842-8995 or the Sustainable Building Collaborative, 815 SE Clatsop, Portland, OR 503-2346931.

Now Available from Home Power Back Issues of Alternative Transportation News People • Technology • Sources • Interviews

Choose from these four issues: June/August 91 September/October 91 November/December 91 August 92

$3.50 each all four for $3.00 each International orders please add $1.00 per issue

Available from Home Power, POB 275, Ashland, OR 97520.

Please make check payable to Home Power. For Visa or Mastercard orders please call 916-475-0830

ELECTRO AUTOMOTIVE camera ready 4.5 inches wide by 3.25 inches high

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Check your mailing label!

We don't send out renewal notices, we put the last issue of your subscription right on your mailing label. So don't miss an issue of your subscription!

The Energy Cycle™

Kids call it fun...we call it learning.

The Energy Cycle™ is a bicycle-powered generator that teaches concepts such as energy efficiency, energy storage, utility load issues, and much more!

For step-by-step instructions on building The Energy Cycle™, as well as educational activities, a color poster, and a video, send $35 (NC residents add 6%) to: Publications Department

North Carolina Alternative Energy Corporation P.O. Box 12699, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 919-361-8000

Get out of the kitchen and into the sun!

Heaven's Flame a Guidebook to Solar Cookers by Joseph Radabaugh

Joseph Radabaugh's book of 96 pages with 11 photographs and 50 illustrations, provides plans to build an inexpensive, efficient solar oven from foil, glass, and cardboard boxes. Full color cover and durable binding. For under $15 (including the cost of the book) you can be cooking with the sun. Cook delicious food, save money on cooking fuels, and have more time to do the things you want to do.

Available for $10 postpaid inside USA (Mexico - Canada add $1, elsewhere outside USA add $2 S & H). Please allow four weeks for delivery Make check or money order payable to: Home Power Inc. POB 520, Ashland, OR 97520 • 916-475-3179

Home & Heart

Kathleen Jarschke-Schultze

Have you ever wanted to vacation in some remote beautiful place but couldn't afford the prices of lodging and restaurant meals every night? What about leaving your own house and RE system unattended? Maybe there is an answer.

Trading Places

One of the morning news shows had a segment about people who trade houses for a week or two to have the comforts of home when they travel. There is a quarterly publication where you pay $35 to be listed with a picture of your home and your access information. When you contact someone or they contact you the trade is all worked out between yourselves. There is no middleman or agent.

The people interviewed had traded homes all over the U.S. and one couple even traded with some students who had an apartment in Paris. This sent our imaginations soaring. Bob-O and I love to travel, but who can afford it? Most of the money spent on a vacation is on lodging and food. We could trade with someone in Seattle and visit the museums, we could trade with someone in Colorado and climb mountains, or... Our speculation was endless.

Of course reality set in. How could we leave our house and system in the hands of someone uninitiated to RE living? Have you ever noticed how when you visit someone who lives on the grid, or they visit you, you seem to spend a lot of time walking around turning off lights and TVs in rooms people have left? The thought was sobering.

Bright Idea

The compact fluorescent bulb came on over our heads! Why not trade with other RE home owners? Most people who live on RE are beyond the power lines; usually in some beautiful, remote place. RE users are spread across the planet. Wow, what a concept! The outback of Australia, the beaches of the Carribean, skiing in Vermont, solar cooking in Baja California. Our enthusiasm was off and running again.

Now, what have we got to offer on our side of the trade? Well, we live one hour away from a ski resort in one direction and one and a half hours from another to the south. We are forty-five minutes from the world famous Ashland Shakespeare Festival. It takes about ten minutes to drive to a lake where you can fish, water ski or windsurf. There is excellent birdwatching in our area. If you think about it there are always some really nice features to your area. That's why you live there.

Rookie RE

We expanded on this line of thinking. Sure remote homes have their unique attractions, but what if you had cabin fever and wanted to go to a city and go to a different movie every night.

On the flip side what if you lived in the city and dreamed of an RE home in the boonies? Wouldn't you like to try the lifestyle on for size and see if it fit your ideal? Wonder what it is like to live with wind power, or hydro, or solar or a combination of all three? This could be your chance. What are the attractions of where you live?


You would need to make a folder or, better yet, a folder and a video of your particular system. Since each RE system is as unique as its owners this would be de rigueur for a trade situation. You would need lists of all the equipment, troubleshooting, idiosyncrasies — the whole shot. Then, depending on the time of year, there are the other duties that come with country living. How to care for animals, wood stoves, gardens, waterlines, etc. It's all part of the big picture.

Mi Casa, Tu Casa

It could all work. People all over the world are doing it now. We are just suggesting a twist on an already established form. Why shouldn't we also benefit from our dreams and ideals? I have spoken to a few people about this idea, testing the hydro so to speak. People, on and off grid, have responded enthusiastically to the idea. I would really like to hear from people interested in this medium of exchange. Possibly to start a newsletter with listings and guidelines for trading homes for vacations.

Fire Safe

On a different front I was talking to Michael Blend, a remote RE home owner, the other day. We were discussing the difficulty in getting fire insurance for your home when you are miles from official fire protection. This can be a very hard thing to find. No insurance company wants to take the risk and unfortunately, they don't have to.

At one time Bob-O and I considered organizing a neighborhood volunteer Fire and Rescue squad thereby having official fire protection much closer. We figured this would help us and our neighbors get insurance or maybe lower the rates for those lucky enough to be

Home & Heart covered already. The squad was never formed as all our neighbors have insurance and thousands of gallons of water storage already. This would be everyone's individual fire protection, if needed.

After I had told Michael of my experiences with fire insurance he said he would look further into the options. He called back a few days later and left a message that he had obtained fire insurance from Cal Farm through the Farm Bureau. They are set up to work with people in rural areas. Check your phone book for local access.


Author: Kathleen Jarschke-Schultze, c/o Home Power Magazine, POB 520, Ashland, OR 97520 ,

Renewable Energy

R.E. Solutions for Western New York Design, Installation and Service for Stand-alone & Grid Interactive


Bill LaBine 536 Countess Drive West Henrietta, NY 14586

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