Energy

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.

Measure energy efficiency with the Home Energy Score tool

Beyond giving homeowners the information they need to make their home more energy-efficient, the Home Energy Score can also showcase the energy investments you’ve made in your home to make it more attractive to potential buyers in the future.

5 Things to Know About Geothermal Power

Currently, the U.S. leads the world for installed geothermal capacity, with more than 3.7 gigawatts (GW). With continued R&D successes and strong industry adoption, geothermal could meet more than 10% of U.S. electricity demand. Here are some interesting facts about geothermal energy.

Passive Solar Home Design 101

Passive solar design takes advantage of a building’s site, climate, and materials to minimize energy use. A well-designed passive solar home first reduces heating and cooling loads through energy-efficiency strategies and then meets those reduced loads in whole or...

Passive Solar Design 101

Passive solar design is the harnessing or directing of solar energy through non-mechanical, non-electrical means. It is a key principle of green building, often applied in designing buildings for maximum solar heating during cold winter months and maximum protection...

Net Zero Energy Home Products

A net zero energy home doesn't have to look any different than any other home, but there are certain products that are better suited than others to help you achieve your net zero energy goals. Here are some examples.

How to Power Your Home with Renewable Energy: Buy and/or Make It!

You can take advantage of clean, renewable energy by buying "green power" or by making your own electricity with a small home renewable energy system. Learn the purchasing options available in your area, or learn how to plan your own system and choose the right...

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