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blade construction and generator design allow today’s wind turbines tooperate quietly and reliably in a wide variety of environmental conditions.Before deciding on a specific type of wind system, it is important toknow the potential of your site. Ample wind is a prerequisite for successfully siting a wind turbine, and generally speaking, the more the better.…Read More
Today’s micro-hydro Run-of-River system designs are dependable, economical, efficient, and environmentally friendly. Harnessing the powerof water to generate electricity allows us to gain some sense of responsibility for meeting our own needs and for reducing our impact on the environment. Micro-hydro systems are typically 4-5 times better cost to energy outputand corresponding reduction in total…Read More
Solar hot water systems use basic thermal principles to capture incomingsolar radiation and heat water for domestic and other uses. Over the years,a variety of system designs have been developed and tested to meet speciMc consumer needs and conditions. Due to the cold climate in the Northeastwe use primarily closed loop systems with a 50/50…Read More
Prudent Living is a hybrid company whose purpose is “To promote products and philosophies that encourage a prudent way of life.” Thisway of thinking is still foreign to many, but it is clear that a paradigm shift is occurring in our society and it will continue because it’s a “way of thinking” whose time has…Read More
Let’s take a deeper look at what it takes to construct a net zero home. While a fully integrated design-and-build approach is key to success, it also requires a construction crew that cares about the “what” and the “why” of high performance building. Here, critical elements include: 1. Air-Sealing the Building Envelope When a building…Read More
Creating a Home Design: Net zero energy home designs begin with a dialogue between the client, designer, and builder. At first introduction, prospective clients often bring sketches, pictures, and a wish list with them. An experienced builder is able to clarify a client’s ideas and offer plans or suggestions based on past experience. For example,…Read More
What is the “HERS” Rating System? Facing the need for a more accurate metric to rate home energy efficiency, in 2006 the HERS (Home Energy Rating System) Index was established by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and is an integral part of the Energy Star Homes rating index. In fact, to become an Energy…Read More
Prudent Living was incorporated in 2009, but it feels like it could have happened this morning. It amazes me how much we have changed and how fast it’s happened; almost as if I got into a DeLorean on my way to work this morning and punched in the year 2013. Does time really go by that fast or did…Read More
While things like super insulation and heat recovery ventilation systems are important for a net zero home in Vermont (or New Hampshire), a solar photo voltaic (PV) system is most often the ‘key’ element to creating net zero energy. Here’s a checklist of five things to look for when considering solar power for your net zero home. 1) Solar Panel…Read More
Let me start off by defining, “better.” From the standpoint of construction quality or practices, an IECC home and a net-zero home will be the same. From the standpoint of saving energy, net-zero wins hands down. Let’s see why. The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) The IECC is a residential coding standard that stipulates minimum…Read More