Jon Hammond's Solar Energy Crisis Solutions

Jon Hammond shares about his renovated dwelling that now derives about 80 to 90% of its winter heat from the sun, and showcasing his innovative solar energy crisis solutions.

| November/December 1975

The big corporations and government agencies get the headlines every time they announce another improbable megabuck "solution" to the "energy crisis" . . . but, so far, it's the little guys who've been building the hardware that works to offer real solar energy crisis solutions.

Little guys such as Steve Baer and Harold Hay, both of whom have shown that a house can be quite satisfactorily solar heated in the winter and solar cooled during the summer . . . with nothing more than drums or "beds" of water and a few movable, insulated wall or roof panels.

And now there's a third little guy out in Winters, California who's quietly using Baer's and Hay's ideas to push back alternative energy frontiers of his own.

Solar Energy Crisis Solutions

Jon Hammond was born 31 years ago in Richmond, California and — a couple or three years back — found himself with a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture, a master's in ecology . . . and working as a teaching fellow at the University of California at Davis. It was then, thanks to his degrees and his experience in his chosen fields, that the city of Davis asked Jon to help prepare an official energy conservation policy for the town.

Hammond — along with Marshall Hunt, Lauren Neubauer, and Dick Cramer — set to work on the project with a clean sheet of paper and a right good will. And eventually, after much soul searching and exhaustive research, they brought forth a milestone study entitled A Strategy for Energy Conservation: Proposed Energy Conservation and Solar Utilization Ordinance.

Much of the report dealt with simple "we can do it now" ideas that the residents of Davis could use immediately to make their homes, their neighborhoods, their whole town more pleasant and more energy efficient. That part of the study alone was more than worth the effort which went into it. Still, in many readers' opinion, the real zinger in the new Davis ordinance is the chapter on solar energy prepared (at Hammond's request) by Steve Baer.

8/20/2008 5:53:40 AM

I look forward to the time when solar PV as a supplement or alternative to the electric grid will be affordable to the average home owner living in residential suburbia. It's great that we have pioneers such as this article describes. Only when big box building supply retailers use their mass distribution together with the efficiencies of mass production to bring the costs down and the assistance of the various governmental agencies will the average home owner actually have a choice that is affortabble. Dan

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