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.

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.

I.M. Pei’s Modernist Legacy Lives On In This Eco Renovation

I.M. Pei’s Modernist Legacy Lives On In This Eco Renovation

I.M. Pei and Araldo Cossutta’s modernist architecture extended to Hyde Park, Chicago in 1961 with the design of the now-historic University Park Condominium. Elemental Green enlisted local architect Richard Kasemsarn to help give one of the penthouse units a green makeover while staying true to its modernist beginnings.

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