FOND DU LAC, WIS. — I want to thank you for the "green," renewable energy edge in the latest CONTRACTOR magazine, and for Bob Miodonski's Editorial, "Time for you to take green building seriously" (February, pg 68).
There is a great need for the commercial/industrial construction/engineering community to grasp and advance mechanical practices, which are self sufficient and pay for themselves in short order. Renewable energy, such as solar domestic water heating and solar hot water space heating are certainly viable markets for the industry to pursue.
Natural gas production has passed its peak and will be in a constant state of decline as the demand continues to increase. We need to utilize renewable energy alternatives whenever possible. As the global economy continues to exponentially consume non-renewable sources, renewable energy sources must become a viable portion of our infrastructure. This is critical for us and for future generations depending on our leadership.
I also believe we need to provide our customers the option of a renewable energy component as we design the plumbing hot water and HVAC systems for their buildings. As an industry, we need to provide our customers with a Life Cycle Cost Analysis (see www.retscreen.net) of their system with renewable energy, and without. Let the customers decide how much the cost of energy will increase in the future (5% to 10% per year minimum), and help them to see that by purchasing a renewable energy system now, the price is locked in at a fixed rate (usually comparable to the monthly rate they are now paying).
Even better, help them to see that at some future time (six to 10 years in most solar hot water systems, or sooner depending on rebates), the renewable energy component will have paid for itself, and the energy it produces for the life of the system (40 years or more) ... is now free!
Again, thank you for the informative articles and magazine. I look forward to more articles on renewable energy in future publications.