We’re honored to play a small part in this project!
The men of Phi Kappa Psi have created a Foundations for Tomorrow, a program to help provide Huntsville’s homeless vets with tiny homes. Alabama Center for Sustainable Energy has partnered to provide solar panels for the “tiny home” village, which will include a garden to be maintained by the residents. This is meant to be a step for these vets as they work towards improving their lives.
Alabama Center for Sustainable Energy is providing solar panels to help electrify a new village of tiny homes being created by a UAH student and his fraternity brothers.
They’re called tiny homes, but the idea is anything but tiny. A UAH student and his fraternity are working to raise enough money to help take homeless veterans off the streets and put them into their own homes.
Taylor Reed, Phi Kappa Psi president, has the plans in place, permits in the works, and volunteers to help create a village of the tiny homes. While tiny homes are no more than 300 square feet, their effect on the homeless could be massive.
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama– Net Zero in Huntsville may be a distant blip on the energy horizon, but Daniel Tait can see it coming.
Acceptance of the idea that electricity can be produced from solar panels and windmills is slowly growing, but Tait insists he’s no Don Quixote as he pursues the goal of changing Huntsville from a typical fossil fuels to a renewable energy town.
That goal has a name: NetZeroHSV. A combination of energy efficiency measures and production of renewable energy means Huntsville would totally offset its energy use from sustainable sources.
Recently we read an article in the Birmingham Business Journal (Original Article HERE) that showed Alabama as only one of five states in the country that doesn’t provide any funding for public transportation at the municipal level. While most of this study focuses on the job creation and service benefits of public transportation, we believe that the importance of public transportation goes beyond these and would like to bring attention to another, often under-appreciated benefit. Saving energy and saving even more money as a result.
The Importance of Public Transportation
While it is true that some people who currently do not drive would use public transportation, and thereby increase energy consumption, it is also true than many who currently drive cars would opt to use a well designed public transportation system. To further demonstrate this point, consider the following data points from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA):
Riding public transportation far exceeds the benefits of other energy-saving household activities, such as using energy-efficient light bulbs, adjusting thermostats, or using energy-efficient appliances.
Public transportation use saves the U.S. the equivalent of 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually — and more than 11 million gallons of gasoline per day.
Households that use public transportation save an average of more than $8,000 every year — even more as the price of fuel rises.
Household residents with proximity to public transportation drive an average of 4,400 fewer miles annually compared to those with no access to public transportation.
Other forms of alternative transportation shouldn’t be ignored either. Walking and biking have substantial health benefits along with their financial and energy savings. Cars aren’t going away but they are becoming smarter and more efficient. Smart policy that places requisite value on public transportation, green ways, bike ways and alternative fuel vehicles will be imperative to improve livability in our communities.
The last 30-60 days have seen a flurry of activity coming out of the Department of Energy (DOE). This federal activity could mean huge opportunities for growth in clean energy for Alabama. Here are some of the topics being covered by recent grant announcements or notices of intent.
Extreme residential energy efficiency
University R&D on energy efficient technology
Commercial energy efficiency
Distributed energy and storage integration
Of course it isn’t unusual to see such a large amount of federal activity during this time of year but the variety of topics is encouraging! Our mission to transition Huntsville to 100% clean and efficient energy by 2025 and Alabama by 2035 aligns well with DOE’s recent announcements. We wholeheartedly believe that the most cost effective energy is energy you do not need to use. This is why we put so much focus on energy conservation and efficiency. Then and only then should renewable energy, energy storage, and other forms of distributed generation be considered.
We’re hard at work with our partners to bring some of DOE’s investment in clean energy to Alabama. As always, we can never have enough committed team members and we hope you’ll join us.