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Vanadium via BBC News

Vanadium via BBC News

In some circumstances you really can have too much of a good thing, or so utility company representatives are saying. With the cost of energy continuing to rise, more homeowners are converting to renewable energy like solar power. Especially if you live in Hawaii, where grid-tethered homes pay triple what most continental states pay. That is because Hawaii has no local access to fossil fuels and has to have them shipped across the Pacific.  But now Hawaiians facing another problem – storing all that excess solar power.

More than 1 in 9 Hawaiian residents have installed solar panels with other states showing a similar trend. Residents save money on utilities while their solar photovoltaic systems feed excess energy back into the grid during the solar peak from noon to 4:00 P.M.; however, the demand peak for electricity isn’t until the evening when people get home from work, switch on air conditioning or heat, turn on the television and lights, and start cooking dinner. [click to continue…]

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too hot at home overheating

So your home gets too hot and you are looking for ways of addressing the challenge. But how can you do it without installing another appliance and tapping for more electrical juice into the grid?

My fellow Acterra, Green@Home volunteer – Tom Kabat presented this on the forum and it was too good not to pass it along. He was kind to give his permission to to share these creative alternatives that he had discovered for reducing the temperatures in your house before installing a whole house fan or an AC unit (no it does not involve taking an ice bath). [click to continue…]

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superhome2

So you crave that low-impact, low carbon, environmentally prudish living but what if you live in an older house, are saddled with a mortgage, or don’t have the cash to put into a new, green home? There’s still hope and it currently springs from Europe. The Superhomes Project in the United Kingdom is a conglomeration of people just like you. They saw the need for change, but didn’t necessarily have the means to start from scratch. Instead, they decided to promote the benefits of retro-fitting their existing homes and inspire others to do the same.

The goal is to create a network of 500 energy-saving pioneers across the UK who reduce their carbon footprint by 60%. The National Energy Foundation (NEF), at the forefront of improving energy use in buildings since 1988, has provided professional support for SuperHomes since the Sustainable Energy Academy (SEA) initiated the project in 2007/8. As of 1st March 2014, SEA in practice merged with NEF, helping ensure SuperHomes continues to grow and thrive. So far, the network consists of 180 volunteer homeowners who have banded together to demonstrate that low-carbon living can be accomplished in an existing home. These people are not CEOs, architects, contractors, or any of that ilk; they are simply ordinary citizens who want to set an example, bettering their lives while saving the planet’s. [click to continue…]

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greensburg green home

One of the strongest tornadoes to ever hit the US ripped through Greensburg, Kansas seven years ago, demolishing everything in its path, and the resulting devastation gave Greenburg a unique chance to become an aspirational beacon to the rest of the country. Rather than pack up and haul out, the residents decided to stay and [continue reading...]

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ugly green row house11

What at first might look like a Sea Shepherd ship collision with a row house is actually an amazing feet of engineering and energy efficiency. Local architect Tom Faino was anticipating into the future when he decided to raise his Queens row house by several feet. But after Hurricane Sandy hit the area his plans [continue reading...]

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at the Ideal Home Show 2011

I find it comforting to know that some of the world’s leaders are not part of “the headless chicken brigade.” Global-warming deniers have been dubbed “headless chickens” by none other than the Prince of Wales. A royal title traditionally linked with a restrained sort of opulence, the current Prince of Wales is at the forefront [continue reading...]

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ray4

Would you prefer just a wash of “Celery Sprig” or go head-on “Limeade?” If you’re a homeowner looking to enter the world of “eco-friendly” building or remodeling, then you’ll quickly learn that there are many shades of green.  You could simply replace an old appliance with an energy-efficent one, or you can learn the lingo [continue reading...]

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tiny home massachusets

Doug Immel, a school teacher, built his own 8 foot by 20 foot mobile tiny house on a trailer in Massachusetts.  His new address is 0 (not a type, it really is zero). His super well insulated shack has a passive solar room which collects energy from the sun and helps heat the entire house. Doug [continue reading...]

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passive solar Greenhouse design

What if you had your own grocery store attached to your house? And what if that grocery store saved you money on both produce and energy? Well, imagine no further; the day is upon us. A passive solar greenhouse, like the most famous one in British Columbia, could make endless, fresh produce a reality – [continue reading...]

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rolling-flower-pots2

Just when you’re thinking one can not re-invent a flowerpot… it happens. Some genius Spaniard, while sipping on Sangria during noon siesta, looks at the plant that is half bathing in the sun and has an epiphany – why not tilt the flowerpot so that the entire plant is facing the sun? Heck, why not [continue reading...]

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