Homeowner Alternative Energy Systems

This application idea is approved by the EPA.

Utilize and combine data from eGRID, local power providers, local alternative energy providers, and data on impacts, costs, and opportunities on various power choices, to facilitate:

-homeowners to more easily make accurate, informed decisions on energy upgrades-too often they sound like excessively complex gobbledygook, which results in people who might otherwise make the changes or investments just deferring for lack of knowledge.

-It could include data on typical costs of solar, recirculating radiant, and standard power, all other choices, and could assist homeowners with their power decisions by optimizing costs and benefits of various methods (e.g., solar especially) against likely power generation and cost recovery in terms of their own power use and potential savings, power provider and costs (maybe even considering local capacity, plans for expansion and estimates of local demand growth), potential for selling back power to the provider, potential tax benefits (depending on e.g., home ownership, federal incentive programs, etc). And considering costs/benefits of purchase/ownership of system v. leasing programs–all of these depending upon local conditions and providers. Maybe even find some incentive for providers to input their data and to update it with changing fed or local programs and incentives.

-power providers and alternative power providers to expand their offerings for more sustainable choices. It should also allow for homeowners to easily click their local provider to get locally relevant and specific information on costs, savings, emissions reductions and other environmental benefits of alternative choices and environmental costs of standard choices. It can also let them know what their local provider is already doing, and “vote” or “like” other options they are considering, or other options they already employ (e.g., some cities have installed solar systems or already operate in a way that maximizes sustainability).

-Ideally, it could also include data from local or state planning agencies and EPA on projected growth in development as well as proposals for new systems and upgrades (maybe particularly if they either “liked” or otherwise expressed some interest in particular options that the provider has provided.

-Ideally, in areas where new development is occurring, it would also ensure that the developers and local decision-makers have access to public opinions, and provide good information for developers, planners, and engineers regarding infrastructure options, costs and interest.

-Ideally, where most development has already occurred and most development is infill or remodeling, it could provide the same types of information on retrofit options or simple changes that could be made–not just “insulate your house” but a menu of data on options, range of costs, potential providers/contractors.

-It could include an option (maybe in a future iteration/expansion) for those providers or developers or local agencies to apply for and be certified for recognition if they employ a certain level of alternative, sustainable options. So that their successes and changes in the right direction get a gold star of sorts. (with a high bar!)

Additional details can be found here.

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