Introducing Our Energy Consultant: Ralph Jacobson

I don’t understand the basics of electricity, much less sustainable energy use so I’ve asked for help. My friend Ralph Jacobson, CEO of Innovative Power Systems, has come on board as our blog’s energy expert. He’ll be helping me understand what those numbers are on the killawatt measuring tool, what that number means if we were to try to use a renewable energy source to reach it, and some tradeoffs we can make

Ralph Jacobson, energy consultant

Ralph Jacobson, president of Innovative Power Systems

Innovative Power Systems designs, installs and services solar electric, wind electric, and solar thermal systems for residential and commercial projects.  The company is NABCEP certified for solar electric and solar thermal. They’ve installed hundreds of solar energy systems since 1991, when Ralph founded IPS.

Ralph is a board member of the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society and President of the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA). He works with legislators, regulators and utilities to craft renewable energy incentives and regulations.

Ralph teaches solar and energy-related classes at Century College that are open to anyone. Check out the class schedule at the Minnesota Renewable Energy  Society website. He’s got a class this month on photovoltaics and one on solar water heating.

While he was at our house getting this not-very-good photo taken, we pulled out last month’s electric bill. At 22.3 killawatt hours of energy use per day (759 for the month), Ralph tells us we are an average American household. We have plenty of room for improvement.

About thinkofitasanadventure

We are a 50-something couple living in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis. We attended a sustainability conference at our local high school in November 2010, with keynote speaker Richard Heinberg from the Post Carbon Institute. What we heard shocked us deeply. We finally understood the need to transition away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible. We immediately began to change the way we live. We joined together with other folks in our neighborhood to learn more, to do more and to have fun doing it! We're part of Transition Longfellow. We're choosing to change now and to "think of it as an adventure." If you are on this journey too, we'd love to hear from you.
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