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Living Better with Less Energy

Fall 2019
A version of this article appears in the Fall 2019 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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September 10, 2019
At times, the solutions to our problems are hiding in plain sight. Sometimes the hardest part is taking the time to examine things that we assume don’t need to be examined. Consider my friends the Vetters. I’ve known the family for nearly ten years. Zak’s father, Craig Vetter, is an industrial designer and inventor who gave the motorcycle world the modern touring fairing. Craig also has a lifelong passion for doing more with less and experimented with streamlined motorcycles, not only designing them but measuring and learning the effects of streamlining. He found that doubling and even tripling their effective range was easy when the bike was enclosed in a teardrop shape! Craig understands the concepts of efficiency and has passed this knowledge on to Zak, who was preparing to install a large solar array to power their property when our paths crossed. As Zak explained it, though he had grown up seeing efficiency firsthand and how it dramatically improved the range and performance of vehicles, he had not recognized that the same thinking could be applied to houses.

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