Russell Urban-Mead

Frugal Family Transforms 200-Year Old Home With Efficiency, Solar, Geothermal & a Used Electric Car – with Hydrogeologist Russell Urban-Mead

Episode 16

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Hosted by
Ron Kamen

Ron Kamen has decades of expertise & leadership in catalyzing exponential change in sustainable energy adoption with communities, governments, non-profits, and businesses.

Are you a homeowner looking for ways to be environmentally friendly and at the same time save money on your heat, electricity, and transportation? Do you want to be inspired by other people’s renewable energy journey?

Listen in to this episode and get energized.

Russell Urban-Mead is a senior Hydrogeologist at the Chazen Companies who specializes in groundwater supply, remediation, and natural resource management projects for Towns, brownfield site owners, stream and shoreline sites, and urban redevelopment centers. 

In this episode, Russell shares how he made his 200+-year-old Hudson Valley NY home 99% fossil fuel free by applying his scientific skills, patience, and elbow grease. Russell first applied inexpensive energy efficiency measures to reduce his family’s energy consumption. Today, Solar Photovoltaic energy supplies his family’s electricity, powers a geothermal heat pump for all their heating and cooling – and reduces the other 1/3 of their greenhouse gases with a 2-year-old electric car (that they purchased for the price of a Honda Civic.)

All at the daily electrical equivalent cost of less than $2 a day.

Quantum Quote: “I was fascinated with the idea of energy efficiency. In pompous words, I’m a fiscal conservative, I love saving energy and I like smart investments in energy. I care a lot for the environment.” – Russell Urban-Mead

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Supernova 1: “The most, most effective energy solution is not to need it. Efficiency and conservation are your first tools. Work your consumption down to kind of a bare minimum.”– Russell Urban-Mead

Supernova 2: “It’s useful to understand what the energy conservation value is. This past summer, we’ve had some very hot days. The energy equivalent cost of the air conditioning to cool the house was about 75 cents a day . So geo is just unbelievably efficient.” – Russell Urban-Mead

Supernova 3: “I’m always conscious that I would like a technology to have been around long enough that when it needs servicing, there’s somebody to call. I don’t want to be the first one on the block. But I’m happy to be among the first 10” – Russell Urban-Mead

Contact: Russell is a volunteer coordinator for a monthly water resource speaker series for the Hudson River Watershed Alliance.  Anyone interested in attending these talks can contact HRWA or email Russell at

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