Energy saving tips

10 Energy Saving Tips for Spring

Now that the flowers are beginning to bloom and warmer weather is on the way, there are some easy things anyone can do to save energy and money both around the house and at the office. Here are 10 energy saving tips courtesy of the Department of Energy: 1. Service your air conditioner. Easy maintenance such as routinely replacing or cleaning air filters can lower your cooling system’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent. Also check your air conditioner’s…

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Cellular shades

Cellular Shades Offer Shade and Save Money, Too

If you are looking to save money on your electric bill this year, cellular window shades can help insulate your home from high air conditioning and heating costs through all the seasons. Chris Lavertu, owner of San Diego Window Fashions states, “With cellular shades you will get a very attractive design that will look great and also provide excellent insulation from the heat this summer.” San Diego Window Fashions strives to offer the widest selection of energy efficient shades and…

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Grow Community

Northwest Energy Star Program Provides Insights Into Efficiency

The Northwest Energy Star program is tracking the energy use of green homes for 13 months after they are occupied in an attempt to learn more about what features and technology enhance energy efficiency. The homes in this pilot program, begun in late 2012, are at least 30% more efficient that similar homes built to code. Many spend $200 or less to heat their home throughout the year. The program is being developed by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA),…

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Green Alternatives to Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation can help save up to 50% in energy costs, protect a building from moisture intrusion, and provide sound insulation. In addition, it provides two to three times more insulation that traditional fiberglass. However, according to Environmental Working Group, most common spray polyurethane foam insulation contains methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, or MDI, a synthetic chemical linked to asthma, lung damage and even death. “Because of the chemical’s risks, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set the maximum legal…

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Prefabricated skyscraper Sky City in China

Prefabricated Construction Goes BIG

Up until now, prefabricated buildings and building sections have been used to build homes and other small structures. In China, however, they are taking things BIG – constructing a skyscraper at the rate of three floors per day! What is prefab? Prefabricated construction, or prefab, involves constructing portions of a building (walls, wall sections, roofs, floors) off-site (usually indoors), then transporting those sections to the job site where they are assembled quickly into the finished building. Prefab is green because…

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How Much Will Switching Light Bulbs Save You?

Thomas Edison, the man largely credited for inventing the modern incandescent light bulb as we know it, once said that “we will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles”. While I appreciate the philanthropic nature of his comment, something tells me he never would have predicted just how much it costs to power the light bulbs that illuminate our homes more than a century later. According to the US Energy Information Administration the national average per kWh is…

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Are You Buying a Green Home? Use These 6 Tips to Find Out!

When looking to buy or rent a new home, most buyers today want to be sure they are getting an energy efficient house. A green home, compared to one that’s more conventional, can save its residents thousands- but how can you be sure you’re getting a green home BEFORE you sign the papers? Here are 6 suggestions that should help ease your mind. 1. Get Copies of Past Utility Bills This makes so much sense, it’s a wonder more people…

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Bullitt Center, Seattle

Net Zero Case Study: Bullitt Center – Energy

The Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington, is one of the most self-sufficient buildings on the planet. It is net zero energy and, after the water reuse system is approved by city authorities, net zero water. Net zero means that the building uses the same amount as it creates or generates – it is self-sufficient. In a series of posts here on GBE, we will look at what makes this building tick.   Solar Power The Bullitt Center uses photovoltaic (PV)…

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Prefab Construction Promotes Energy Efficiency

Alexander Kolbe, co-owner of ecoDOMUS, an architectural firm that specializes in prefab construction to build green homes that are highly energy efficient, says that, “Given the choice of spending a sizable sum of money for a home that consumes energy at an alarming rate, or spending slightly more initially to benefit from substantially lower utility costs, and thereby helping to conserving our planet’s limited supply of fossil fuels, we at evoDOMUS believe that the latter can prevail … the key…

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Mumbai City Museum to Get a New Green Extension

The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, Byculla, is all set to get a green extension. It was established in 1872 as the erstwhile Victoria & Albert Museum and is a sister museum to the V&A in London. The museum is city’s oldest and country’s third oldest. The Mumbai city museum had appointed Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) to run a design competition for a proposed wing to be added to the museum. Expressions of interest were received from 104 architects across the world. Eight…

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Facebook game Power House saves energy

Facebook Game Power House Saves Energy and Money

The Facebook game Power House may finally make all those hours spent mindlessly playing games online pay off! The object of the game is to guide a family of four through daily activities using as little energy as possible. It is addicting and challenging, and teaches players how to save energy in real life. The game was specially designed to show players strategies for saving energy in the real world, not just the digital one. Players move family members throughout…

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Passive House Windows Save Money Throughout Projects

Replacing the windows in a building can improve its energy efficiency significantly, but the work is often carried out in phases. Windows need to be selected based on their performance both during and after a project is complete. Passive House Institute has announced a competition and ratings system that- like the Australian system we covered last month– will allow consumers to know which Passive House-certified windows will save them the most money throughout such a project. Passive House Institute recently announced…

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Create Thermal Barriers to Stay Warm and Save

The importance of properly insulating your home should be quite apparent at this point. Creating thermal barriers in the home to prevent heat moving from one place to another can save a lot of money on heating and cooling costs and help keep living and working spaces more comfortable. There are many effective ways to create thermal barriers in the building envelope. You can find tips on how to do weather stripping to fiberglass windows (or other energy efficient windows) to studs…

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