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Affordable Energy Alternatives for the Year 2000...and Beyond


A One-Day Workshop with Daniel Drasin ... media producer, writer, former "Off the Grid!" columnist for Growing Community Newsletter, designer of small Renewable Energy systems, and webmaster of


It is generally acknowledged that the Y2K computer crisis may trigger regional power outages of unknown severity and duration. Coincidentally, the peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle occurs during January, 2000, and scientists say it could do more damage to the power grid than it did in 1989 when it plunged much of Canada into darkness. Last year's killer ice storm bore further witness to the hazards of power interruptions during the winter months.

Dan Drasin's workshop introduces individuals and families to affordable options for maintaining at least minimal electric power, heat and household functions through the kinds of outages that may occur as we enter the new millennium. The workshop also explores the joy of energy independence, the community sharing of backup power resources, and fun ways to make do without the grid. Here are some of the topics covered:


o The meaning of sustainability and the security of energy independence
o How Y2K may impact the availability of electricity and fossil fuels
o Introduction to Alternative Energy options
o The electrical needs of children, the elderly and the disabled
o Why not candles and flashlights?
o Generators, pro and con
o Wind and hydropower options
o How to Choose "Micro-Power" options ($50-$1000): Inexpensive, safe, simple, off-the-shelf systems that can power lights, communications, entertainment, small appliances and laptop computers
o The best-kept secret of affordable emergency power backup


o How to Choose "Mini-Power" options ($1,000 and up): Packaged solar-electric systems requiring little or no electrical expertise, which can provide small-to-moderate amounts of power for a household or office
o Solar water pumping
o Non-electric options for heating, cooking, pumping, food preparation, laundry, etc.
o Refrigeration: Affordable, low-power-use options
o How to find an Alternative Energy dealer in your area
o The ZAP Electric Bike: Affordable, solar-powered local transportation
o The ten worst Alternative-Energy mistakes, and how to avoid making them


o How to turn your car into a solar-boosted mini-powerplant for under $1000
o Essential electrical skills and safety considerations



For workshops within 50 miles of San Francisco, tuition is $30 per person per day and the suggested class size is between 30 and 50.

For other locations, please inquire.

Income in excess of presenters fees and local organizing expenses will be shared 50-50 with your local Y2K community organization.

For information on scheduling, presenter's requirements and other details, please contact:

Daniel Drasin
3020 Bridgeway, Suite 309
Sausalito, CA 94965