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The Benefits of Being Passive
Near the end of our solar energy show two days ago we got a call from someone who complained that despite all the talk of fancy new technologies, there are plenty of cheaper, older ones — like south-facing sun rooms that can actually provide some heat for a house in the winter — that should be given more attention.
Doug Boleyn from Energy Trust of Oregon and Bob Beisner from SolarWorld nodded vigorously as he was talking, and brought up the topic after the show had finished. Boleyn pointed out that he's had a sun room in his house for decades now, and that it provides a not insignificant amount of heating each winter. (He's measured it. In fact, he was the first guest who had a calculator in front of him throughout the show, just in case he needed to crunch some numbers live on air. Some people are born engineers.)
We asked Boleyn and Beisner why, if these kinds of older, passive technologies are so worthwhile, the state doesn't provide tax credits for them. Their answer: the state does.