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Dave Cimma of Granville Massachusetts "semi-retired" in 2004, but that doesn’t mean he’s slowed down at all.
The self-taught engineer is a woodworker, photographer and nature lover. He loves living sustainably and has spent the past few years making his home as energy efficient as he can.
Over the years, Cimma has installed solar hot water heaters, a woodstove (he sources his wood a quarter mile down the road), a solar PV system from Northeast Solar, and has had MassSave energy audits to insulate his home.
“Why did I do this? Simple. Because I could,” Cimma said. “It’s a planetary donation, and I can minimize burning fossil fuels.”
The Granville Solar Barn Project is a website Cimma started where he publishes up-to-the-minute data on the energy production of his home. He started logging the data as a way to educate himself.
“I basically knew very little about building sciences and heating and solar, so the constant data logging allowed me to understand my building and how it responds to environmental factors and more importantly, how to keep it warm when I need to. That all sounds very professional, but the truth of the matter is I probably did it more because it was fun!” Cimma said.
While it is fun to collect data on all the free energy that pours from the sky, Cimma’s history as an engineer plays a part in his obsession.
“I’m an engineer, I understand things best by monitoring what goes on then figuring out how best to control what I need to. And if you didn’t notice, I love graphs!” Cimma said.
Cimma says he’s not “going nuts” about energy conservation, but he figures that if he can save money while conserving energy, why not?
“I’m a Yankee!” Cimma said. “We reuse anything that we can and try to get the most from every dollar.”