Energy

Energy Category Sponsored by SunPower

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), electricity production generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions (roughly 30%) because nearly 70% of our electricity comes from burning fossil fuels. A concerted effort is underway to quickly ramp up renewable energy at both the utility level and distributed across residential and commercial properties. We also know we can reduce energy use through simple behavior changes like turning off lights and electronics when not in use. When you are looking for 

  • ENERGY STAR PRODUCTS: ENERGY STAR is a certification program run by the EPA that applies to everything from appliances and electronics to building materials and lighting. Products certified by this program use considerably less energy than their traditional counterparts. For example, a water heater is the 2nd biggest energy user in the home, but an ENERGY STAR certified electric storage water heater uses half the energy of a standard model. ENERGY STAR certified light bulbs use 75-90% less energy and last 10-25 times longer. That’s smart design!
  • ENERGY-EFFICIENT DESIGN: The way a home is designed can reap massive rewards when it comes to reducing energy use. For example, LEED homes can save anywhere from 30-60%, a Passive home performs 60-85% better, and a Net-Zero House produces the same amount of electricity that it needs to run – or in some cases, more electricity than is needed! That’s incredible home energy savings!
  • RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES: The variety of options for renewable energy grows every year as new technologies continue to be developed. Modern solar panels are more cost effective, attractive, and efficient. They can also be paired with battery backup to provide access to renewable energy even after dark or provide backup in case of power loss. Do you have a stream running through your property? With micro-hydro power machines, even a small stream can generate consistent, clean, dam-free, renewable electricity. And residential scale wind power is also becoming more common and accessible. 

In addition to monthly utility savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions, energy-efficient products and projects qualify for a variety of tax incentives and rebates at the local, state, and federal levels. You can search the DSIRE website for what incentives you may qualify for to help your renewable journey along.

7 Simple Steps to Decarbonize Your Home

7 Simple Steps to Decarbonize Your Home

With the climate crisis accelerating, we must minimize the carbon load of our buildings. This means reducing the embodied carbon that is used to create the materials that go into our buildings as well as the emissions of the buildings in operation.

From Carbon Neutral to Carbon Positive: How Your Home Can Give Back to the Planet and You!

From Carbon Neutral to Carbon Positive: How Your Home Can Give Back to the Planet and You!

Carbon positive homes take the concept of carbon-neutral design one step further by producing more energy on-site than the building requires to operate — sending energy back to the grid and setting a new standard of sustainable living. We achieve carbon positive homes by building with low embodied carbon materials and creating an energy surplus under operation.

Tesla vs. SunPower: Which One Is Better?

Tesla vs. SunPower: Which One Is Better?

The rapid growth of solar energy—energy powered by the sun—has allowed systems costs to decrease and the number of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panel installations to rise in the residential arena. Going solar means monetary advantages like tax credits, increased home values and savings on utility bills. But making the switch has significant environmental benefits as well, including a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and other dangerous pollutants.

A Nationwide Guide to Future-Proofing Your Home

A Nationwide Guide to Future-Proofing Your Home

The future may be uncertain, but the value of a home doesn’t have to be. In fact, building, renovation, and design can be done with adaptability in mind. Preparing for changes can lead to even greater lasting quality, renewability, higher resale value, and often, overall savings in price. 

Produce And Manage Your Own Clean Energy With Sunpower Solar

Produce And Manage Your Own Clean Energy With Sunpower Solar

With grid outages an ever common occurrence, you deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have access to safe, renewable energy.

SunPower leads the way in sustainability, having garnered more than 1,000 patents for solar innovation and bringing long-lasting clean energy to the masses. With over 35 years experience, their Maxeon solar cell and SunVault battery team up to create an efficient and resilient energy solution.

7 Green Building Trends Home Buyers Are Helping To Set

7 Green Building Trends Home Buyers Are Helping To Set

“Eco-friendly” is getting a chic makeover. From innovation in materials to major curb appeal to biophilia and bringing the outdoors in, these sustainable trends are leading the charge when home buyers are hunting for their next home.

9 Must-Read Net Zero Energy Home Books

9 Must-Read Net Zero Energy Home Books

Interested in making your home a net zero energy home? In never paying an energy bill again? It may sound too good to be true, but it’s not. And while you can find tons of great information online, sometimes it’s nice to use a good book (or two) as your guide. Then you have all the details you need in one place that you can bookmark, add notes to, and simply use however it makes the most sense to you.

Green Building and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Green Building and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The UN Sustainable Development Goals can help inform your building choices for a more efficient use of resources and a healthier, happier life. Transform your home and support economic growth and a sustainable future.

18 Inexpensive Sustainable Homes Almost Anyone Can Afford

18 Inexpensive Sustainable Homes Almost Anyone Can Afford

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of having a new house built in the U.S. was $305,372 in 2016. Clearly, this cost can vary A LOT depending on what choices you make, and there are A LOT of choices when you decide to build a custom home. If you’re looking for a less expensive, easier to design, and more sustainable home, check out these 18 alternatives.

LED Light Bulbs for Now, and for the Future

LED Light Bulbs for Now, and for the Future

LED light bulbs that were once very expensive can be had for $5 or less. The savings in energy cost, year after year, pays for the investment many times over. But which products will last, and show you and your home in their very best light?

A Tête-à-Tête With Women Leaders In Sustainability

A Tête-à-Tête With Women Leaders In Sustainability

With gender equality listed as one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we’re highlighting women leaders in sustainability who are ushering in a new era of green. Meet the women who are blazing a trail toward a healthier future through recycling paint, ecological planning and building, and helping businesses contain their environmental footprint.

Extreme Panel Energy-Saving Structural Integrated Panels

Extreme Panel Energy-Saving Structural Integrated Panels

Extreme energy savings Building with Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) from Extreme Panel Technologies is the ultimate way to build green. Extreme SIPs regularly save owners 50-60% on heating and cooling costs. The panels can be used as a complete building envelope...

Heat and Cool Your House With A Geothermal Home System

Heat and Cool Your House With A Geothermal Home System

What is geothermal heating and cooling, and what are the benefits? Geothermal heating/cooling systems are 300-600% more energy efficient than traditional systems. They use less energy even during the coldest winters, emit less CO2 into the atmosphere, and last longer. See how they are used and why one may be right for you.

Fresh Air For Your Family: Deciding Whether an ERV or HRV is Right For You

Fresh Air For Your Family: Deciding Whether an ERV or HRV is Right For You

Home building has come a long way in the last 50 years. New standards for improved insulation values and air-tightness have enabled huge boosts in energy efficiency. But these improvements come with a risk of poor indoor air quality and moisture retention. Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) and Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) are air exchange systems that not only offer great benefits for your home and your health, but can also help in saving money from your utility bills.

Passive House Explained in 90 Seconds

Passive House Explained in 90 Seconds

Ever wondered if the heating or air conditioning in your house is really necessary? Passive House (aka Passivhaus) is a design approach to building that reduces the energy required drastically – sometimes up to 80-90%. In 90 seconds, this video explains how it's done....

Tesla Solar Roof Shingles

Tesla Solar Roof Shingles

Solar Roof shingles are both green and gorgeous. With an integrated Powerwall battery you’ll effectively turn your home into a personal utility! Plus, they’re so durable they’re warrantied for the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first. 

Climate Change and the Resilient Response

Climate Change and the Resilient Response

In the wake of tragic wildfires, we have an imperative to rebuild more resilient, decarbonized buildings made from materials that are abundant, renewable, and healthy. We can’t bring back lives that were lost in these past events, but it’s critical we rebuild homes which will save lives in the future.

Window Films for Beauty and Energy Efficiency

Window Films for Beauty and Energy Efficiency

Window film is a simple and quick way to give your windows a fun fresh look while increasing your home’s energy efficiency. They work by reflecting and reducing the amount of ultraviolet light and solar heat that streams in through glass windows.

Zero Energy Upgrades Could Cost Zero Dollars

Zero Energy Upgrades Could Cost Zero Dollars

A simple calculation shows how you can have a zero energy home for the same price as a conventional one, and keep the monthly savings in your pocket. Here’s how it worked for Bruce.

Induction Cooks Better than Gas

Induction Cooks Better than Gas

There is no doubt that induction uses less energy than an electric resistance burner, but comparing it to a gas burner is more complicated. Here’s how it breaks down.

Six Steps to Success with Heat Recovery Ventilation

Six Steps to Success with Heat Recovery Ventilation

While HRV equipment is well-design and durable, the technology has been plagued by poor installation practices that reduce their value. “In all my many years in the HVAC industry,” says Manclark. “I have never seen anything screwed up as much as HRVs.” Here are the six steps to success for selecting and installing HRVs.

A Roadmap to Building Affordable Zero Energy Homes

A Roadmap to Building Affordable Zero Energy Homes

To achieve zero energy, designers and builders everywhere are employing an array of design concepts, product choices, and financing approaches. Because there are so many ideas, it seems appropriate to offer a quick rundown of the most cost-effective measures for getting to zero energy.

Landscaping for Energy Efficiency

Landscaping for Energy Efficiency

When designing, building or even remodeling a home to be very energy efficient, much time is spent on the building envelope, electrical systems and appliances. But did you know that exterior landscaping can affect the energy performance of your home?

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