You can unplug from the electrical grid, writes home-builder and author Michael Potts in The Independent Home: Living Well with Power from the Sun, Wind and Water. Potts' exploration of both the philosophy and technology of energy independence makes an excellent primer for people wanting to design and build a house, or to minimize power use in an existing home. He reviews adobe construction, envelope houses and other designs, and interviews families living in energy-efficient homes from Hawaii to Vermont. The book also includes worksheets to figure a building's impact on the earth plus advice from people who have built alternative energy systems.


Chelsea Green Publishing Co., P.O. Box 130, Route 113, Post Mills, VT 05058-0130 (802/333-9073). 1993. $17.95, paper. 300 pages. Well illustrated with photographs, charts and graphs.


* Steve Hinchman