As a master electrician who works in the realm of alternative energy, there is one thing that often surprises me. The range of quality of information on how to go green is simply astounding. At least once a week, someone will ask me how they can learn how to convert their home, and answering that question can be difficult.
Simply put, there are literally hundreds of products out there that teach you how to switch a home to solar or wind generated energy. When you look at these products though, only a few of them are worth anything. Converting a home using professionals is an expensive proposition. To compensate many are turning to do-it-yourself books and making the move to go green on their own. With the wide range of information available, let's first discuss what a go-green learning package is and is not.
First, a program that teaches you to convert your home is NOT the only thing you need. To make the actual conversion you'll still need to follow the guide to building solar panels or windmills or both.
Second, NOT every home is appropriate for green conversion. If you live in an condo for example you don't have the surface area for solar panels, or the land needed to setup a windmill.
Third, a package that teaches you how to convert your home IS an excellent way to reduce and even get rid of that month power bill. In fact, if you do it right you'll likely generate more energy than you use, and the power company will have to pay you for the power you feed back into the grid. Best of all, if you choose the right methods to convert your home it can be done for very little cost to you.
Fourth, if you don't take the time to choose the right learning tools then you're just wasting your money. You even run the risk of creating problems for yourself when your real estate value drops due to the non-working solar panels that are covering the roof. Choosing the right tool to learn with is the most important step!
To help you choose a green power package that works, along with some friends, I have worked to evaluate the top five learning products on the market today. We based my evaluations on the following criteria.
- Green Power - Obviously our main goal from any power generation project is to generate power. We tested how much power each solar panel and windmill could actually generate.
- Ease of Building - With a package that teaches how to convert a home, the material should be clearly laid out, and the components should be simple to build.
- Instructional Value - From the above criteria we gave higher ratings to those learning packages that taught us how to go green with ease. The best packages had everything clearly explained, drawn blueprints, and then further explained with how-to videos.
- Cost Involved - The main reason people choose to convert their home themselves is to save money. We gave much higher ratings to the packages that taught us how to find parts for less.
- Availability of Parts - Some of the learning packages we tested recommended parts that weren't available. We gave higher marks to those that used parts that were available to anyone (such as at your local hardware store)
- Time Involved - How long did it take to build each component. We found this had a lot to do with how well the material was explained, but some of the plans just weren't simple enough.
- Overall Rating - From the above factors we gave each package an overall rating.
To follow you will find our ratings for the top five products that can teach you how to go green
. With each of our evaluations we did take the time to build each component that the book/video suggested, and in the process we converted a home.
I have many friends who have been bugging me to help them go green. Over a two month period of time (working on the weekends), that's exactly what I did. They paid for the parts and put in most of the work, I paid for the learning materials and helped them along the way.
The clear winner from our evaluations was Green Power Easy
, but the other four products that made the top five didn't fair too badly either. My recommendations are clearly laid out below, but if you do need any help choosing a package, don't hesitate to contact
me and I will answer any questions that you may have.
Once you have your home running on green power, please do let me know. I enjoy hearing stories from others who have worked to choose the environmentally friendly route to power their homes.
To saving money and the environment,