Empowered: Power from the People features average people meeting their energy needs through renewable strategies. Having trouble keeping them all straight? Here’s a simple guide:
The best way to reduce your impact is to reduce your consumption. By sealing, insulating and venting your house appropriately, you can go a long way to reduce the energy needed for heating and cooling.
Solar panels or photovoltaics transform the sun’s rays into electricity that can be used to power your home and all your appliances.
Solar thermal panels or tubes use the sun’s energy to preheat water for your home, drastically reducing your need for fossil fuels.
Wind turbines harness the power of the wind and convert it into electricity. There are both small-scale models for homes and large industrial turbines designed for wind farms.
A geothermal system enables you to warm your home by drawing from the heat stored in the earth. The same system can also be used to produce cool air in the summer.
Used vegetable oil can be converted to biodiesel by filtering and combining it with methanol and lye. Biodiesel can be used to run any diesel engine. You can even use it in your oil furnace to heat your home.
Many people in the film use a combination of these approaches and gradually become more self-sufficient over time. If you want to reduce your dependence on fossil fuels, you can start small and build up your system(s) over time. Learn more and take action!