The coming energy crisis caused by a peak in global oil and natural gas production will profoundly affect the lives of all North Americans. As the price of these vital fuels rises, homeowners will scramble to cut their fuel bills. Two options for meeting the upcoming challenge are dramatic improvements in home energy efficiency and efforts to tap into clean, affordable, renewable energy resources to heat and cool homes, to provide hot water and electricity, and even to cook. These measures can result in huge savings and a level of energy independence.The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy tells you how. It starts by outlining the likely impacts of fossil fuel shortages and some basic facts about energy. It then discusses energy conservation to slash energy bills and prepare for renewable energy options. Focusing carefully on specific strategies needed to replace specific fuels, the book then examines each practical energy option available to homeowners:• Solar hot water, cooking, and water purification • Space heat: passive and active solar retrofits • Wood heat • Passive cooling • Solar electricity • Wind-generated electricity • Electricity from microhydropower sources • Emerging technologies—hydrogen, fuel cells, methane digesters, and biodieselThe Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy gives readers sufficient knowledge to hire and communicate effectively with contractors and, for those wanting do installations themselves, it recommends more detailed manuals. With a complete resource listing, this well-illustrated and accessible guide is a perfect companion for illuminating the coming dark age.Dan Chiras has studied renewable energy and energy efficiency for three decades and has installed several renewable energy systems. He lives in a self-designed passive solar/solar electric home. An award-winning author of over 20 books, he is a sustainability design consultant who teaches courses on renewable energy, green building, and sustainability at Colorado College.