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.

18 Inexpensive Sustainable Homes Almost Anyone Can Afford

18 Inexpensive Sustainable Homes Almost Anyone Can Afford

According to HomeAdvisor, the typical new home built in the United States in 2023 was $121,099 to $502,765. And because buyers continue to outnumber sellers, that figure is rising. For buyers seeking a more affordable and sustainable new home, check out these alternatives.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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