Enervee Score Provides Daily Energy Efficiency Reporting For Home Appliances

Many consumers today purchase home appliances based on one primary factor – purchase price. While features and energy efficiency are important, they certainly don’t take top billing when it comes to paying at the cash register. The Enervee Marketplace, a web site that utilities can use to allow consumers to research appliance purchases, attempts to educate consumers so they know the cost of the appliance over its life span, including energy. Enervee and Opower, a software company that works with…

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Oregon Energy Storage Demonstration Project Launches With State-Federal-NGO Partnership

An inaugural Eugene, Oregon backup grid storage program using PV-generated electricity will now be used by the Eugene Water & Electric Board. This follows a joint solicitation from the US Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity and the Oregon Department of Energy calling for an energy storage program. As a result, $295,000 in state and federal funds are being awarded to the Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) for this energy storage demonstration project. Of note, this project will incorporate 500…

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Solar Decathlon 2015 Kicks Off

Solar Decathlon 2015 Kicks Off

Solar Decathlon 2015, a design and build competition involving university teams from around the globe, kicked off today with keynote speaker US Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz. The Decathlon asks teams to design and build homes powered by the sun that are affordable, energy efficient, attractive, and easy to live in, which are judged in several competitions. The homes are on display throughout the competition so spectators can tour them. “These inspiring collegiate teams show the world how energy-efficient building design…

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90% of US Homes Are Under Insulated, Study Says

Boosting Insulation Could Cut Energy Costs, Reduce CO2 Emissions and Increase Comfort Based on new research, the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) estimates that roughly 90 percent of existing US single family homes are under insulated, wasting energy and money, and decreasing comfort for homeowners. “If all U.S. homes were fitted with insulation based on the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), residential electricity use nationwide would drop by about 5 percent and natural gas use by more than…

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Three Ways to Grow Green Things at Home

I propose that the next thing you add to your home to-do list on the weekends is the goal of growing something—anything! All the reasons and ways to grow flowers, plants, herbs, and vegetables—heck, even a tree once a year, if you can manage it—are of course too numerous to cover in one post. However, I’ll start with three benefits for both yourself and the planet.   Build a green roof! You might be wondering the purpose behind them, but…

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2005 Solar Decathalon entry from NYIT

Collegiate Teams Target Net Zero At Solar Decathlon 2015

Sixteen collegiate teams from over 27 different schools will soon be vying for the ultimate in home energy efficiency. The US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon – America’s premier collegiate competition that challenges students from around the world to design, build and operate highly energy efficient, solar-powered houses – will open October 8, 2015 in Irvine, California. Teams are already working on the construction of their homes, as they have to be shipped and erected in California in just a…

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Coca Cola Saves Energy With Umisol Window Film

Umisol Infrared Blocking Filter was recently installed at the Coca-Cola headquarters in Brussels. The project is expected to create a net profit of 14 €/m²/year. Energy efficiency is central to the European strategy with the 2020 – 2030 – 2050 EU Directives for smart and sustainable growth and the progression to a resource-efficient economy. By 2050 the EU aims to significantly reduce emissions by 80-95% compared to 1990. The greatest potential for energy savings exists in buildings. The Commission’s plan regarding…

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Passive design office

Passive Solar Design Enhances Natural Ventilation

What is passive solar design? It goes by many names, though all are similar: passive design, passive solar, passive heating, Passivhaus, and passive house. Buildings using this strategy rely on the heat of the sun to moderate the temperature indoors without the need for artificial heating and cooling. How do they do it? Thermal Mass By using large amounts of building materials that are able to store the heat from the sun during the day and release it at night,…

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Doors and windows effect R-value of a building

What Affects the R-Value of a Building?

This is part two of our posts on R-value. Read the first post to get a definition of R-value and find out what it means to you. Doors and Windows As much as we love, and need, doors and windows, they are not good for a building’s insulation value. Doors open and close, allowing air to move freely inside and out. Additionally, it can be tough to completely seal the gap around a door, causing even more air leakage when…

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R-value of building insulation

What Is R-Value and What Does It Mean To You?

What Is R-Value? Simply put, R-value is a measurement of how insulating a building material is, protecting one side from the heat or cold on the other side. A higher R-value means that a material insulates better than one with a lower value. In order to get an idea of what these values are, here are a few examples of common building materials and their R-values: 1/2″ drywall – 0.45 1/2″ plywood – 0.62 4″ wide brick – 0.80 1″…

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SunBeamer Skylight System Provides Natural Light Indoors, Promotes Vitamin D Production

SunCentral has announced the release of a new skylight system that claims to promote vitamin D production by providing natural sunlight in interior spaces that would not normally see sunlight. “Our goal was to develop an indoor lighting system that provides much of the sun’s health benefits, including boosting the body’s ability to produce Vitamin D, while reducing the intensity of wavelengths of ultraviolet (UV) light that are more harmful than beneficial,” said the system’s co-inventor, Lorne Whitehead, Ph.D., professor…

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New Tool to Improve Building Energy Efficiency Fits In Backpack

A group of scientists from University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new tool that measures a building’s dimensions, locates HVAC systems and ductwork, and maps out the location of electrical sources, all in an effort to improve building energy efficiency. When a building is slated for improvements, designers usually have to comb files to find old drawings or contact the original architect, if they are still in business. If neither of these options pan out, they have to physically…

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Ink-coated window shade saves energy

New Ink-Coated Window Shades Save Energy

A New Jersey firm has found a way to provide electronic energy-saving shading for windows at very little additional cost. Elliott Schlam, the principal of New Visual Media Group, says his firm has come up with a new take on the traditional window shade – a super-thin sheet of polymer film that’s installed inside insulating glazing units (IGUs). “All of the dynamic window technologies are basically chemically oriented,” Schlam says. “Ours is an actual physical shade that’s coated with ink.…

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Tenant Star Program Recognizes Energy Efficient Office Spaces

  The US Congress and President Obama recently approved a bill that would establish the Tenant Star Program to recognize office spaces that implement energy efficiency measures, saving money and the environment. The Tenant Star Program will be a part of the current Energy Star Program for buildings, providing incentives to encourage tenants in office buildings to install energy-reducing fixtures and systems. It will be the first government-endorsed label in the United States to recognize leased spaces within commercial buildings for…

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