Energy

Expert Tips for a High Performance, Energy Efficient Home [Podcast]

The Home Detective - Expert Tips for a High Performance, Energy Efficient Home Marla Esser Cloos (aka The Green Home Coach) is the founder and co-host of Green Gab, a weekly podcast where she and co-host Tony Pratte talk all things green. She is also a NAHB Master...

The Difference Between High-Performance Home Certifications

High-performance building delivers revolutionary energy efficiency. Passive buildings routinely achieve 90% reductions in heating energy use compared to conventional buildings, and similar reductions in cooling energy. When combined with day lighting, heat pumps for...

The Idea Farm: A Custom, Eco-Friendly Farmhouse

The Idea Farm This green, custom home was built by Vujovich (Voy-o-vich) Design Build and is a sophisticated blend of rustic and refinement. Everything about it was purposefully planned for a couple committed to living close to the earth and following a lifestyle of...

Energy Efficiency – Designing, Inspecting, and Testing For it, Part 1

Listen and Learn! This comes courtesy of our friends at Build Your House Yourself University hosted by Michelle Nelson, informal residential construction student.  She shares information on home building practices as well as interviews with experienced contractors and...

Energy Efficiency – Designing, Inspecting, and Testing For it, Part Two

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Smart plus Solar Products to Watch

by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief of Green Builder Media The universe of ‘smart’ products that enhance the performance of green energy keeps getting longer. Here are some of the brands leading in this new frontier. smartflower Self-Contained Solar Power Smartflower had a...

What Exactly is a Zero Energy / Net Zero Home? — BYHYU with Michelle Nelson

Listen and Learn! This comes courtesy of our friends at Build Your House Yourself University hosted by Michelle Nelson, informal residential construction student.  She shares information on home building practices as well as interviews with experienced contractors and...

Top 5 Ways to Insulate Your Green Home

by Ali Lawrence, a kombucha tea-sipping writer who focuses on healthy and sustainable living via her family blog Homey Improvements Not all insulation is created equal. Some insulation might get an A for fire prevention, but receive Fs in health and safety thanks to...

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. We all know we can reduce energy use through simple behavior changes like turning off lights and electronics when not in use, but building or renovating an energy efficient home offers far bigger opportunities for savings.

  • 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!
  • ENERGY SOURCES: The variety of options for renewable energy grows every year as new technologies continue to be developed. No longer are giant panels the only option for home solar energy, now solar shingles are an easier, more ‘eye-friendly’ alternative. 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 at a price per Watt lower than solar or wind!

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. For example, the Energy Investment Tax Credit, also called the Solar Investment Tax Credit, provides a 30% federal tax credit that goes towards solar panels for home.

Expert Tips for a High Performance, Energy Efficient Home [Podcast]

Listen in as Kellye Markowski from Energy Smart Homes offers advice for homeowners/residents to reduce their energy and costs and know the best course of action for their house. She says people take a stab at doing the right thing for their home or property, yet they typically do the wrong thing or do the steps out of order.

The Idea Farm: A Custom, Eco-Friendly Farmhouse

This custom home is a sophisticated blend of rustic and refinement. Everything about it was purposefully planned for a couple committed to living close to the earth and following a lifestyle of simplicity. Affectionately named “The Idea Farm,” for its innovation in sustainable building practices, this home was only the 2nd new home in Minnesota to receive a Gold Rating by MN GreenStar.

Energy Efficiency – Designing, Inspecting, and Testing For it, Part 1

A home is given a numerical score, called the HERS Index Score, which indicates the home’s energy efficiency. The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) introduced the HERS Index many years ago.
A lower HERS Index score means a more energy efficient home. And the lower the HERS score, the lower your utility bills and the more comfortable the house will be. Like the miles per gallon tells how efficiently a CAR uses fuel, the HERS Index Score tells how efficiently a HOUSE uses fuel.

Energy Efficiency – Designing, Inspecting, and Testing For it, Part Two

The Manual J calculation is the first step in designing a new heating and air conditioning system. The “J” in Manual J stands for Joule, which you might remember from your science classes. A “Joule” is a unit of energy. Manual J calculations determine how much cooling a house actually needs.

Smart plus Solar Products to Watch

The universe of ‘smart’ products that enhance the performance of green energy keeps getting longer. Here are some of the brands leading in this new frontier.

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