The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

January 13, 2010

Amish energy revolution hits Daviess County

The price of oil has once again started to creep upward. Many believe that gasoline and diesel will soon hit the $3 per gallon mark. The rise has been slow this time, prices inching up a little each month. But many have slipped back into old habits. Plans to install solar panels or a wind turbine were put on the back burner when the oil to heat that burner got cheap again.

People have started to drive more, too, but those through the Amish community in Daviess County may be a bit surprised when they realize the Amish have taken the lead in future energy technologies.

Solar panels and wind turbines can be seen on many Amish houses and barns. To some this may seem odd, but those who know the Amish are probably not so surprised. Their ingenuity is well known, and if “necessity is the mother of invention,” then the simple life may very well be the nurturing playground of its development.

According to sources in the Amish community this Amish energy revolution has been a combination of necessity and a well-timed purchase of a truck load of solar panels more than two decades ago by an Amish entrepreneur who owned a popular small engine shop in rural Montgomery.

It was also during this time that there was an electrical energy crisis in the Amish community. This may seem to be a contradiction in terms, but it came about by a new law that had been passed that required buggies to be equipped with electrical lights. The 12-volt lights required car batteries to power them, and these batteries had to be recharged regularly. This took electricity, and that was a problem, since the Amish shun being hooked up to the modern day electrical grid system.

The Amish did use small gasoline engines though, and the aforementioned small engine shop became busy putting together and selling alternator kits that could be driven by a small gasoline engine and wired to charge 12-volt batteries.

Text Only
Local News
  • Thomas, Hilton hurt in Wednesday's practice ANDERSON — After a physical practice Wednesday afternoon at Anderson University, the Indianapolis Colts are hoping they have not lost another starter.Left guard Donald Thomas hit the ground following an 11-on-11 running drill and was visibly upset wh

    August 1, 2014

  • SPT-WT-080114-WERNER PIC Werner's progress evident at Colts Camp ANDERSON — Bjoern Werner’s rookie training camp was rather quiet.The German-born outside linebacker went through individual drills and worked hard in full-team sessions, but he was overwhelmed by all the new information he was processing. And it was

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today's police report CITY REPORT Thursday 3:24 a.m. - Police investigated a motorcycle accident at the corner of Northwest Third Street and West Main Street. Officers say the operator lost control of the vehicle while attempting to make a turn because the kickstand was s

    July 31, 2014

  • Band01 Golden Pride put pieces together for new show For the 30-plus members of the Washington High School Golden Pride marching band, the past two weeks have been long and full of work. After one week of exclusively working on music the band hit the field and began putting together the marching pieces

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hoosier Democrats call for campaign funding limits Indiana Democrat candidates and party leaders brought their "we can do better" government campaign tour to Bloomington. The Democrats called for a lot of changes. One of those on hand was District 39 Senate candidate Steve Lindsey who called for more

    July 31, 2014

  • Kruchten moved to Knox County A Daviess County jail inmate facing murder charges has been temporarily moved to Knox County. Reports that Donal Kruchten, who was arrested in April in connection with the murder of Devan Burris, was moved to the Knox County Jail for his own safety a

    July 31, 2014

  • Dailae abd Vincdnt.jpg Dailey and Vincent return to SJG ODON — Lovers of bluegrass music will have a chance to see the award winning bluegrass duo of Dailey and Vincent perform at the Simon J. Graber Community Building Saturday. Tickets for the event are only available at the door at are $15 for adults, $

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colts get to take a break ANDERSON — There was a change in the Indianapolis Colts training camp schedule Monday as the team had just one practice instead of the usual two. With the Colts set to have Tuesday as an already scheduled day off, head coach Chuck Pagano combined the

    July 31, 2014

  • Washington City Council hears 2015 budget proposals Mayor Joe Wellman and the members of the Washington City Council met with city department heads Wednesday evening to hear the proposed budgets for 2015. Wellman said he had proposed pay increases for both hourly and salary employees. Those increases

    July 30, 2014

  • Barr-Reeve responds to teachers' complaint MONTGOMERY — The Barr-Reeve Community School Corporation has responded to the unfair labor practice complaint filed by the Barr-Reeve Classroom Teachers Association against the corporation. Earlier this month, the CTA filed the complaint with Indiana

    July 30, 2014