Can You Make Money on Energy Bills from Being Green?

For years now, we’ve been forking out huge amounts on our energy bills. With the big six companies recently announcing their latest price hikes, it can be really frustrating to read that these providers are enjoying a five-fold rise in returns, as The Telegraph reports – while many of us struggle to meet the payments. However, have you ever thought about turning the tables and making these energy companies pay you? With renewable energy sources, this is a possibility. Take…

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Guest Post: Protect your Garden Waste and Rubbish from Vermin with a Sturdy Garden Bin

Is your garden waste or rubbish attracting foxes and vermin to your home? Are you worried that, perhaps, these unwanted critters will find their way to your yard where you store your rubbish? There are a few things you can do to prevent your area from attracting unwanted and unhealthy pests. By investing in a sturdy garden bin to hold your organic waste and taking care to reduce your waste through effective methods, you can increase the likelihood of enjoying…

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Modular Design Lab: Meet the Flat-Packed Honeycombed HIVEHAUS

Here is an interesting way to approach building an easy-to-assemble living space, configured to be as small or large as you wish. HIVEHAUS, a new concept in modular living space – “inspired by nature- influenced by modernism and constructed using unconventional building techniques,” writes the UK-based company. Each hexagonal HIVEHAUS cell is a self-contained unit with low energy LED lighting and 240v electrical sockets installed as standard. A wide range of additional plumbing, heating and electrical options can be installed…

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Small Homes Preview

In the name of sustainability and sanity, the era of the oversize home is hopefully giving way to the small home, becoming a phenomenon of the past, where little regard was given to energy, materials, and land consumption. As the economist E. F. Schumacher once opined: “Small is Beautiful.” The following three designs (220 to 900 sq ft) provide some interesting examples of far smaller dwellings, some of which can be moved on wheels. Minim House From MinimHouse: “Designed by Foundry…

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A Journey Through the Natural Building Techniques: Light Clay Infill

Light Clay Infill a.k.a Leichtlehm Leichtlehm, said from the throat easily by any native German speaker, translates directly as “light loam”. Loam is a composition of earth including relatively equal parts of sand, silt, and clay – which makes Leichtlehm easily translated to “light clay”. Light Clay Infill is a fairly old building technique, and quite a basic one at that. Many of you are probably familiar with the Tudor style buildings that make English and German architecture famous. Well,…

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FilterWatch: Your Energy Efficiency Lookout

Paying the unneeded cost of heating a home in winter is never a welcome expense, especially if it’s a matter of clogged air filters affecting your home’s energy efficiency. Fortunately, this is a problem that can be addressed with a cost-effective solution called FilterWatch. Let’s start with this straightforward benefit: “A simple, effective energy efficiency solution that will save you money.” Add cleaner air to the list of benefits, especially the air we breathe in and out most days of…

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Guest Post: When is the best time to purchase and install replacement windows

The number #1 reason why homeowners pay more As any homeowner will know, maintaining the appearance and integrity of your home can be a demanding task, requiring hands-on application and extensive personal research to find not only the best products for your home, but also the most effective ways in which to apply them. Windows are no exception. The wide variety of styles and visual possibilities can be a bit overwhelming for both new and experienced homeowners alike. Though some…

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Green Globes Gains GSA Recommendation

The Green Building Council’s Leadership LEED system is no longer the only program the General Services Administration (GSA) endorses for federal building construction and renovation; now there is Green Globes. The Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes has received a recommendation from the GSA during a scheduled review of the building certification system. Government construction is no longer confined to a single certification – news that is riling company CEOs and environmentalists alike. The GSA recommends new or renovated buildings gain…

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Guest Post: Solar Panels and You – Do They Really Make a Difference?

This guest post about solar panels has been written by Kurt Dowdle at Hayden Homes. Thanks much for adding your perspective. If you ever want to jump into an argument so heated it could turn into a bar fight, start talking about solar energy. If you want to skip the brawl however, just go to the Internet and be amazed at the diversity of opinion between seeming equally intelligent sources. Is it only about money? Not surprisingly, most of the…

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Point2 Homes: New Real Estate Listings Portal

The search for a homes for sale or rent can be a grueling, time-consuming – “can’t be forgotten soon enough” – endeavor. Or it can be made into a very smart shopping trip. Point2 Homes is a newly developed real estate listings portal. This website has been designed to serve as an online search tool for property lookers, whether scouting for something to buy or rent. This tool has been developed by Point2, which specializes in developing real estate marketing…

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Zero-Down Solar Leasing for New Homes

Our thanks to Mathias Maehlum from Energy Informative for providing GBE readers with a second informative articles on solar energy leasing. His next article “NREL Sets New World Record with Two-Junction Solar Cell,” will be published this weekend. The solar PV market has been though a lot of changes in the last couple of years. Since Solarcity introduced the model of zero-down solar leasing back in 2006 many solar providers (including SunRun, Sungevity, SunPower and Real Goods Solar) have followed suit. Third-party-ownership has become the…

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What are Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV)?

Our thanks to Mathias Maehlum from Energy Informative for providing GBE readers with a series of informative articles on solar energy technologies like BIPV. His next two articles, “Zero-Down Solar Leasing for New Homes,” and “NREL Sets New World Record with Two-Junction Solar Cell,” will be published this week. Some homeowners are turned off by how solar panels affect the appearances of their homes. Building-integrated photovoltaics – basically solar panels incorporated into the construction of new buildings – can eliminate the negative visual impact…

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2-Year Review Of Solar Water Heater

I have been using a solar thermal water heater for nearly two years, and am now ready to share my experience with it. First: solar thermal water heaters (often just called solar water heaters) operate by absorbing sunlight into insulated (by vacuum) glass tubes where it turns into heat. That heat accumulates in the water until it becomes adequately hot. The hot water is stored in a tank. Apart from that, the heater was said to be equipped with a…

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3 DIY Projects to Save Money and Make Your Home More Energy Efficient this Winter [Free Infographic]

By now, you’ve probably gotten your first abrupt taste of winter’s chill. Fall’s weather is unpredictable, but that first really frigid day is a harsh reality check that you’re completely unprepared for the changing of the seasons. Don’t fret! Dig your coat out of the back closet, grab a steaming cup of hot cocoa and read up on our weekend projects to keep your home warm and toasty without breaking the bank. Check your Home for Air Leaks If you…

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A Way To Reduce The Cost Of Solar Group Purchases

The cost of going solar can be reduced significantly by pooling multiple residents’ money to purchase everyone’s’ solar panels at once to enjoy quantity discounts, due to the large quantity of solar panels purchased. However, is it possible to reduce the cost even further? Yes. The cost of installing rooftop solar panels is extremely high, even higher than the cost of the solar panels. One approach to lowering contractor fees, is to make contractors compete with each other. If you…

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Case Study: Eagleyew – A High Efficiency Natural Building on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada

The Story of Eagleyew: A High Efficiency Natural Building on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada I’m pleased to say that I have been building Natural Buildings for a number of years now. My work has taken me up and down the West coast of North America, with a focus in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been calling Vancouver Island home for the last three years, and have had the pleasure of working on some amazing Natural Homes in the area. From cob…

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Build Your Own Free Tiny House with Shipping Pallets

Recently, we’ve talked about how to live simply and decrease your carbon footprint living in a tiny house. Even better than buying a tiny house is making your own, and Michael Janzen is blazing a trail with his free tiny pallet house. Not only is his house made out of recycled shipping pallets, it isn’t costing him anything to build. And lucky for us, he’s sharing his plans so you too can build your own tiny free house. You can…

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