Saturday, March 16, 2013

Louisville Solar Tour Teaches Homeowners How to Go Green

Cindy Brown Kinloch argues her house is a living creature. At least, she treats it like one – using old refrigerator glass as windows near the top of her roof to help heat and cool off her home with the help of passive solar energy.

Her husband renovated the shotgun house in the Phoenix Hill area in the late 80s, now it's one of 30 homes on display during the Louisville Solar Tour.

The tour in Louisville mirrored the National Solar Tour Saturday, an effort nationwide to point out the need for energy efficiency and conservation.

Brown Kinloch says her monthly energy bill is nearly a quarter of her neighbors. They also use retaining bins on their roof to help collective and warm their water, reducing the constant need for their hot water heater.

"We did it to reduce our (carbon) footprint, and be more energy efficient," Brown Kinloch said.

While Brown Kinloch's home costs thousands to renovate, an upgrade to solar panels, battery cells and geo-thermal wells runs nearly $100,000 for Mac and Tori McClure in their Highlands home.

Spalding University President Tori McClure, a staunch advocate for solar energy in her successful quest to row across the Atlantic Ocean, says the investment was worth it, especially when she has students from Spalding University in her home.

"I was serious about solar power when I was rowing across the Atlantic, because I lived on solar power when I rowed across the Atlantic Ocean. Mac was serious about geo-thermal, because it's economically more efficient than solar, but solar is catching up. So we did both,"
said Tori McClure.

The McClures say their energy efficient home has reduced their utility bills so dramatically, they often run a credit with LG&E during the summer months because of they produce more energy than they consume.


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