The Energy Thing

Scott Loftesness’ post about being the only one in the theatre for a screening of Who Killed the Electric Car? reminded me that I haven’t posted about a subject near and dear to my heart. I the 1970s I produced and directed a documentary film on solar energy called The Age of the Sun. It was bought by an educational-film distributor and was fairly popular for many years.

A few years ago we installed a 2.5kw photovoltaic system for our home, and after some initial problems with the inverter, it has worked flawlessly ever since. As part of the installation, we had PG&E put in a time-of-use meter. I’ve gotta tell you, it’s very satisfying to be selling electricity to PG&E at a high rate during the day (and watching the meter actually run backwards!), and then buying electricity back from them at night for about one-third the price. Yeah, it won’t pay for itself for perhaps another four years, but it just makes so much sense, we had to do it.

On Tuesday we’ll pickup the new Prius for which we’ve been waiting nine weeks. It replaces my wife’s 13-year-old Jeep Cherokee. The Prius is a great car for geeks. I think Toyota has actually used it as a platform to show off and test a number of new technologies, not just their hybrid power plants.

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