[hreg] HREG summary
- Hello all,
I'm sorry that it took a while for me to put out a
message after our last meeting at NASA, but I've been
on vacation and then catching up. I thought we had a
good meeting. It was great to see so many of you! I
thought I counted 23, but there are only 21 on the
sign-in sheet, 10 of whom stayed for the business
I'm going to try to summarize where I feel we stand
with the group, but first I'll start with leadership
news. Charles Mauch felt like he couldn't continue to
be acting president, so after some negotiation, we came
up with the following volunteer positions:
Mike Ewert - acting president
Steve Stelzer - acting vice-president
Kim Travis - acting secretary
We are keeping the "acting" titles until the group
becomes more formal and/or we have a more formal
election. Think about whether you are willing to play
a leadership role in HREG - having active leaders will
be important to the success of the group. By the way,
thank you to Kim for already starting the e-group!
OK, here is my summary of what the HREG has discussed
and decided, going all the way back to our first
meeting at the end of last year. Feel free to respond
if you remember things differently or have something to
The focus of the group will be renewable energy,
including energy conservation considerations - hence
the name - Houston Renewable Energy Group. The group
is a citizen's organization, open to anyone. The
primary interest of the group is learning more about
renewable energy use in the Houston area and sharing
that knowledge to improve our community. We do not
plan to focus on business or political activities.
Since no one has a lot of time to devote to the group,
we would like to keep or functions and organization
simple. We might consider becoming an un-incorporated
501c3 non-profit organization in time, if that isn't
too much work.
We would like to pursue at least an unofficial
affiliation with the Texas Solar Energy Society
(TXSES), acting as their local group. We will
encourage, but not require, members of HREG to join
TXSES. At present, HREG has no plans for dues. TXSES
has annual dues of $25.
Ideas for group activities include public exhibits such
as Earth Day festivals, a tour of solar homes, speakers
and solar construction projects.
Since we cover a wide geographic area, we plan to use
electronic communication to reduce the need for
face-to-face meetings. We would like to make Texas
Southern University (TSU) our regular meeting place.
Many have expressed an interest in energy efficient and
solar homes. Therefore, I propose this topic for our
next meeting. Also, I think we should create a list of
several activities for the group, such as the ones I
listed above, through an on-line discussion. Then we
can vote, or find some way to prioritize them and get
started on the first.
I close with a slogan used by TXSES and I look forward
to hearing from all of you soon.
The Solution Comes Up Every Morning!
- mike.ewert@... wrote:
> Hello all,It's really nice to see you guys getting going.
> We would like to pursue at least an unofficial
> affiliation with the Texas Solar Energy Society
> (TXSES), acting as their local group. We will
> encourage, but not require, members of HREG to join
> TXSES. At present, HREG has no plans for dues. TXSES
> has annual dues of $25.
I am interested in figuring out ways to boost the whole
Texas renewables scene. I think something that makes
sense is to figure out how TXSES can do statewide things
that help local RE groups (I would also like to see REACT,
the unofficial Austin area RE group take on most of the
local Austin activities).
What sorts of things do you Houston folks think TXSES
could do that would make it worth joining?
- regular newsletter of state activities
- prepared materials (like the fact sheets)?
- coordinate speakers, state events
- prepared programs (probably more of a repository
than a source)
- RE Library
- Hi Mike,
I think gratitude is in order here--thank you so much for being willing
to lead the Houston group in its formative stages! Hopefully, we can
work together to support each other's efforts.
It would be really great to get even a small tour of homes organized for
the National Solar Homes Tour, which is scheduled for Oct. 16th this
year. I am organizing a very big tour in the Central Texas area, which
has more homes to choose from than we can include on a one day tour. If
your group wants to take this on, perhaps a few of us could meet to
allow me time to give you my years worth of experience in organizing
tours. It is a bit late to start, but if you focused on even 3-6 sites,
it could still be done. Media is the key! Leonard Bachman
(713/743-2372) should have some ideas for sites, as should LaVerne
Williams, a Houston architect who is a long-standing TXSES member. He
is at 713/528-0000; with some other folks to lend a hand, he might get
encouraged enough to spearhead your efforts. My list of renewable
architects also includes two others I am unfamiliar with, but they might
come up with something for you: ABO, Inc. at 713/681-4511 and MCCM
Architects at 713/523-6070.
Please let me know if I can be of assistance.
Kathryn Houser, Director
- Thanks for the encouragement from the state level.
Regarding your question, this doesn't exactly apply
to the whole state, but many of our members have
asked "what practical renewable energy things can I
do (to my house) in Houston?". Some of the experts
in Austin could help us answer this question and I'm
sure some things apply no matter where you live in
the state. Speakers or fact sheets or even e-mail
messages could be used. "Product reviews" might be
another way to look at it.
> mike.ewert@... wrote:
> > Hello all,
> > ....
> > We would like to pursue at least an unofficial
> > affiliation with the Texas Solar Energy Society
> > (TXSES), acting as their local group. We will
> > encourage, but not require, members of HREG to join
> > TXSES. At present, HREG has no plans for dues. TXSES
> > has annual dues of $25.
> > ...
> It's really nice to see you guys getting going.
> I am interested in figuring out ways to boost the whole
> Texas renewables scene. I think something that makes
> sense is to figure out how TXSES can do statewide things
> that help local RE groups (I would also like to see REACT,
> the unofficial Austin area RE group take on most of the
> local Austin activities).
> What sorts of things do you Houston folks think TXSES
> could do that would make it worth joining?
> - regular newsletter of state activities
> - prepared materials (like the fact sheets)?
> - coordinate speakers, state events
> - prepared programs (probably more of a repository
> than a source)
> - RE Library
> Please comment!
> Chuck Wright
> eGroups.com home: http://www.egroups.com/group/hreg
> http://www.egroups.com - Simplifying group communications
- mike.ewert@... wrote:
> Thanks for the encouragement from the state level.This is an interesting question, Mike. I have several
> Regarding your question, this doesn't exactly apply
> to the whole state, but many of our members have
> asked "what practical renewable energy things can I
> do (to my house) in Houston?". Some of the experts
> in Austin could help us answer this question and I'm
> sure some things apply no matter where you live in
> the state.
Anyone, feel free to ask any questions, and I will try
to connect you with people for answers.
Part of the basis of "green building" is responsiveness
to the local climate. An optimal design in Austin might
not be best for Houston, and of course, El Paso would
be quite different. You folks have Leonard Bachman,
who is quite expert on passive solar and on the local
climate. And, he's taught workshops, too. I would be
most interested in knowing more about how Houston
design would be different.
There are quite a few PV installations around here,
and alot of information to be had. But, you folks
probably have the same around Houston.
I have done some "renewable" things to my house:
- My solar water heater is very effective (how good are
they in Houston? Are particular designs more suitable
for Houston (how often and hard does it freeze?).
By the way, Gary Vliet has taught some workshops
on such things.
- I bought a new refrigerator which uses about a third
of the electricity of the old one.
- I also installed a setback thermostat.
- Also, have done some shading of windows, as I have
become very interested in heat gain effects from diffuse
I don't know what's responsible for most of the savings,
but my electricity usage has declined considerably.
> Speakers or fact sheets or even e-mailTake a look at my personal web page for stuff that I have
> messages could be used. "Product reviews" might be
> another way to look at it.
written up. One item is test results of the "PowerPlanner"
device that you may have seen at Home Depot, claiming to
save lots of energy on motor-driven appliances (it doesn't).
At the TXSES board meeting yesterday, we agreed that
we would like to consider you folks to be a "chapter", if
you agree. There are no obligations. I think we can offer you
some space on the TXSES web page (http://www.txses.org -
check out what we do with EPSEA, who actually have more
stuff than TXSES), which needs some updates (to be done