The price of gas is headed skyward again, nearing $4 a gallon fueled by unrest in Libya and the rest of the Middle East. The rising cost of gas is painful for millions of people still living paycheck to paycheck, forcing them to squeeze even more out of every dollar. If the price of oil continues to rise it could endanger our fragile economic recovery from the Great Recession, raising the cost of goods throughout the economy. As painful as it is, the rising price of oil also creates opportunities for green entrepreneurs like James Cass, developer of the energy efficient Mojave Breeze hybrid air cooler, and for investors who help these entrepreneurs succeed in their quest for greener, more efficient, and less costly ways to live.
The opportunities for consumers to spend less on gas and transportation are clear – drive less and drive more efficiently. Car pool, rideshare, avoid unnecessary trips, drive an efficient car, use an additive, keep cars well maintained, and get one of the cool new green machines coming on the market like the Nissan Leaf. Check, check, check. But the need to conserve doesn’t stop in our cars, and it doesn’t mean we have to live poorly, giving up one thing after another. There are plenty opportunities to live well but do it for less, and one of the biggest is still energy efficiency in our homes.
Air conditioners consume thousands of watts, making them one of the biggest energy hogs in homes and often the most expensive as well. Cass is developing the Mojave Breeze hybrid air cooler as an innovative solution helping people live well for less. The device Cass is building can cool homes as well as traditional air conditioners but for a fraction of the cost. By using indirect evaporative cooling, tests with Mojave Breeze prototypes have cooled air with 80% less electricity than air conditioning and without bringing humid air into homes like swamp coolers.
“My goal was to create a product that consumers will not only want but need,” said Cass. “Spending $200 to $300 a month to cool your home has become much more difficult for the average consumer to afford while maintaining other household expenses. The Mojave Breeze will help to put back hundreds of dollars into the family budget every cooling season.”
Cass has been developing the Mojave Breeze for the last few years, working on his own to optimize the unit, patent it, and make the Mojave Breeze available to consumers everywhere. Once commercialized, Cass expects to achieve inexpensive pricing for the unit. The Mojave Breeze is not even in stores yet, but with minimal publicity Cass is already receiving requests to order the unit from eager consumers, showing how ripe the market is for entrepreneurs and investors developing innovative money saving energy efficient products like this. While some businesses have pulled back in the Great Recession, there is still a massive opportunity for businesses and investors that dive in with win-win products like this.
People often think that green products are expensive eco-luxuries, but the real opportunity today is for practical products like the Mojave Breeze that consumers need to save money as well as being eco-friendly. The question isn’t whether we can afford green products, but if we can really afford to do without money saving efficient green products like this. The answer seems clear.
Article by Glenn Croston, author of “75 Green Businesses” and “Starting Green”, and the founder of Starting Up Green.