Tag Archives: ENERGY STAR

Choosing Energy Efficient Home Electronics

energy efficient electronicsChoosing energy efficient home electronics can be one easy way to lower your monthly electric consumption and energy costs. Sure, one energy-efficient appliance or piece of electronics won’t cut it, but imagine what would happen if you replaced all of your old, socket-sucking home electronics—you’re your television, stereo system, smart phone, computer, laptop, game system and more—with items that use less energy and save you a lot of green at the same time.

Here are five quick tips to help you choose more energy efficient home electronics:

1. Look for energy incentives

Government energy incentives—such as tax refunds or rebates—can be a great encouragement for families when it comes to purchasing energy efficient appliances. For example, purchasing an appliance or home electronics with the Energy Star-rating often comes with the promise of a rebate for your earth-friendly purchase.  Plus, the government is doing its part to encourage green family practices via the Natural Defense website, which lists a bunch of tax credits that relate to Health and Energy specific electronics and appliance purchases for your home.

2. Buy electronics with the Energy Star rating

When it comes to choosing energy-efficient home electronics that help cut your monthly hydro bill and use less of Mother Earth’s resources, those stamped with an Energy Star rating fit the bill. You can be confident that electronics awarded this label adhere to the strict energy efficiency criteria established by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on energy consumption.

3. Listen to what other consumers have to say

Reviews aren’t all bad! And when it comes to conserving energy, you can almost guarantee that everyone has an opinion. That’s why consumer reviews can help you save money—both on product energy costs and product quality—when it comes to spending your hard earned money on home electronics.

4. Focus on the long-term

Sure, you might want to upgrade to that new smart phone if your carrier is offering impressive incentive programs, but is the actual phone a quality item? Sure, upgrading our cell phones, televisions, and laptops is nice when we get a brand new shiny model, but do you ever think about all of that e-waste that ends up in a toxic landfill? When you consider the toxic chemicals that disposed of electronics leave in our landfills, it doesn’t quite seem worth the upgrade.

5. Every piece of electronics counts…

Yes, I’m referring to your printer, cell phone, television, stereo system and even your alarm clock—every one of these items sucks energy from your socket and can make a difference. So opt for models that use less power and require less time to charge, and you’ll notice an decrease your electrical bill each month as well as your negative stamp on the environment.

Jane Johnson is a staff writer for GoingCellular, a popular site that provides cell phone news, commentary, reviews and more.

Change the World Pledges at the Georgia Force Arena Football Game

This summer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been partnering with organizations nationally to take the ENERGY STAR® pledge. In Duluth, Ga, the EPA and the Georgia Force collected Change the World with ENERGY STAR® pledges at the Georgia Force Arena Football game in the Gwinnett Arena on July 14. The Georgia Force pledge drive urged attendees to make a change with ENERGY STAR® by challenging them to take simple steps to save energy, which can help save money and protect the climate.

EPA Regional Administer, Gwen Keyes Fleming was designated the honorary captain of the team and performed the coin toss on the fields at this televised game (126 Charter, 248 Comcast and MeTV). Change the World tables were staffed by EPA in the concourse and took pledges. At halftime, a drawing determined the winner of a signed football.

“In recognition of the 20th Anniversary of ENERGY STAR®, we want the metro area to know that saving energy not only helps save money and the environment, but it can also be a lot of fun,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator, Gwen Keyes Fleming. “We’re excited to broadcast this important message as a service to our community.”

About ENERGY STAR

Launched in 1992 by EPA, ENERGY STAR is a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. This year marks ENERGY STAR’s 20th anniversary. Over the past 20 years, with help from ENERGY STAR, American families and businesses have saved about $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.7 billion metric tons of carbon pollution. To date, more than 1.3 million new homes and nearly 16,500 buildings across all 50 states have earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification. The ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 63 different kinds of products with more than 5 billion sold over the past 20 years. For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).

Americans can take the “Change the World, Start with ENERGY STAR” pledge. The pledge is a way for individuals to commit to taking action on energy efficiency in their homes and daily activities such as switching to more efficient lighting, choosing ENERGY STAR products, sealing and insulating homes, and using power management features on home computers and monitors.  For more information on the pledge: http://www.energystar.gov/changetheworld

For more information about Atlanta green living, visit Atlanta Real Estate Forum.

New Survey Describes Best Green Features to Improve Your Resale Value

Solar PanelsWhat is the best way to reduce your home energy consumption and improve your resale value of your home simultaneously?
NewHomeSource.com, the leading resource for homebuyers, conducted an online national survey to measure which green energy features have the greatest impact on home resale values. According to the survey, 40 percent of respondents said that solar panels have the greatest impact, followed by tankless water heaters (23 percent) and energy efficient appliances (18 percent).

There are many benefits to using solar panels in the home. They reduce the reliance on outside power providers, and the energy generated can often be sold back to the power company. Not only do solar panels save energy, but they can leave quite an impression on home buyers. Although homeowners often do not see a return on investment upon purchasing the solar panels, many builders are factoring the cost of the solar panel construction into their home. For example, Lennar builders are developing new ‘solar communities,’ where solar power is the main feature of the homes.

Don’t stop there! You can also save a ton of energy by using tankless water heaters instead of large 50-60 gallon tanks. Plus, tankless heaters last twice as long as traditional tanks. These heaters are easy to incorporate in new construction, but may be difficult to install if your home is already built due to pre-existing gas lines.

According to the survey, Low-E windows and Icynene Insulation ranked as the least beneficial towards resale value. However, Low-E windows are gaining popularity. The glass in these windows reflects heat by utilizing a thin metallic coating in the glass. This coating helps reflect infrared light, which results in rising temperatures in the home.

Icynene Insulation allows homebuilders to construct more insulated and quieter homes. Icynene is a spray foam that expands as it dries. This allows small cracks, which would otherwise fill with moisture, air and heat, to be sealed. Although it was ranked last, according to Energy Star, a house that is properly insulated can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs.

Want more green home features that can lower costs? Visit Atlanta Real Estate Forum for the latest information on Atlanta green building.

Monroe Ga Church Improves Energy Efficiency

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently recognized St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Monroe, Georgia for its achievements in the fight against climate change.  St. Alban’s, one of nine small businesses and congregations recognized nationally, has shown that with effective energy management practices and innovative efficiency solutions, it is possible to save money and use significantly less energy to power buildings and facilities.

“I commend St. Alban’s for demonstrating that a commitment to environmental stewardship can lower energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Stan Meiburg.  “Energy efficiency can save money, reduce air pollution and help fight climate change.”

Like many congregations, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church is housed in a facility that has been expanded, renovated, and changed over time. The church was founded in 1953, built its first 800-square-foot building in 1954, and today occupies 14,703 square feet. The additional square footage is comprised of two separate expansion efforts, the last taking place in 2000. Energy had not been a large concern when the building was first built. But a changing world and a growing membership have moved energy stewardship as one of the most prominent positions on the church’s list of goals in the last three years.

The first steps in increasing efficiency were improvements to the older building’s envelope, adding insulation, and changing lighting from incandescent to CFL. Smaller, but significant, improvements included timers on water fountains, weather stripping, and caulk. Landscaping was upgraded to include large areas of mulch to reduce mowing and water. One office was relocated to substantially reduce HVAC expenses in the newest building. The parish has also signed up for the ENERGY STAR ® Challenge, committing to reducing energy usage by 10 percent a year. Signing the GIPL Covenant is another commitment made by the parish to help it remain on track.

Saint Alban’s Episcopal Church estimates that they are saving more than $1,500 annually in energy costs for the operation of their worship space. The savings of nearly 70,000 kWh per year represents a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the CO2 emissions from the annual electricity use of over five homes.  Efforts have not stopped with improved energy efficiency. Recycling cardboard, bulletins, newsletters, and office waste saves a ton of paper, saving 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4,000 kilowatts of energy and 7,000 gallons of water.

The 2010 Energy Star Small Business and Congregations Award winners used tools and resources provided by EPA’s Energy Star ® program to develop their plans and measure and track their accomplishments. By strategically managing the energy performance of their facilities, these small businesses and congregations cut utility costs without sacrificing features, convenience, style, or comfort while making significant contributions to a cleaner environment.

More about the 2010 Energy Star Small Business Award winners: http://www.energystar.gov/SmallBizAwards

Green Builder S&A Homes Launches New Blog

S&A Homes has launched an interactive blog, www.SAHomesBlog.com. A new home builder, S&A Homes  currently builds  in more than 70 communities throughout Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

S&A Homes was recently awarded the 2010 Energy Star Leadership in Housing award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for qualifying an outstanding number of ENERGY STAR™ Homes in 2009.  The builder closed more than 200 Energy Star Qualified homes last year! Congratulations to S&A Homes.

For homebuyers seeking energy efficient homes at an affordable price, S&A Homes offers the E-Home. Focused on building high performance homes that combine energy efficiency, eco-friendly building materials and indoor air quality solutions, the E-Home meets all of these goals as well as provides the best value in the market.

Benefits of Buying an Energy Star Home

When it comes to buying a house and having to think about mortgages, locations and school districts, the stress level seems to increase. With an estimated 16% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions being generated from the energy used in houses nationwide to contribute to the smog, acid rain and global warming, making sure your house minimizes environmental harm is something else to consider. One way to make sure your house doesn’t contribute to the pollution is by purchasing an Energy Star labeled house.

If you’re looking at buying a new house, these government approved homes are a beneficial investment. For one, Energy Star protects the environment from the energy in our homes that generates a great deal of air pollution. Additional perks for Energy Star homeowners include confidence in the product that is easily identified as energy efficient. Owners of an Energy Star home save money over time. Different than a standard home, these cost substantially less for energy, heating, cooling, and water-heating. There is an estimated $200-$400 in savings every year. Let’s do the math–if you live in the house for an average of 7-8 years, this adds up to thousands of dollars saved on utilities.

Better performance is also a benefit of buying an energy star home. With energy-efficient improvements, there is better protection against weather, pollution and noise. An energy-efficient home ensures consistent temperatures between and across rooms, improved indoor air quality and greater durability.

Essentially, these homes are smart investments and will increase in value by the time you are ready to sell. More than 8,500 home builders have partnered with the EPA to create more than 1 million Energy Star qualified homes. While the price tag may seem to be more expensive, Energy Star homes save money–future expenses can go towards redecorating instead of utilities.

Park House: Sustainable and comfortable living in a small space

Owner: Doug Sandberg Architect: Sandberg Architecture, http://parkhouseconstruction.blogspot.com Building Use: Single-family home Floor Area: 2600 square feet, including basement & garage Number of Floors: 2 + basement/garage split level 6728 North Seeley Avenue, Chicago, IL 60645 By Katherine Darnstadt “No way!” That was the initial response from architect Doug Sandberg when his wife Catherine first mentioned an available 18-foot-wide infill lot as the [...]

Originally Posted At: Green Bean Chicago | Read Original Post

Quail Run Community Adds Energy Efficient Features

Greater Valley Group has taken initiative when it comes to making their homes more energy efficient.

Currently the developer is building several new communities near the West Point, Ga. Kia plant. The Quail Run community has added two standard green features into their master-planned community.

Cellulose Insulation: Cellulose is a great, environmentally friendly material. This product is green from the beginning by using recycled newspaper and phone books as raw materials. The output of pollution is negligible and provides minor, if any, irritation during installation. Cellulose installation is available in many forms, but all are extremely eco-friendly.

Energy Star Whirlpool Appliances: Whirlpool has been committed to the Energy Star program since 1998 and has been honored multiple times for being a socially responsible company. They have a range of Energy Star Appliances, most popular though are the dishwashers and refrigerators.

GVG’s Quail Run community is truly beautiful and exemplifies Southern charm. If you are interested in learning more about these homes, visit www.gvghome.com.

Advice on How to Make Your Home Green

Green building practices and green renovation are a hot topic in the construction industry. They provide the homeowner with temporary tax benefits and lower utility bills and are also less harmful for the environment. It’s an all around great idea to convert your house to more green standards, or look for green standard when purchasing a new home. At GreenBuiltBlog.com we love to keep you up-to-date with the latest trends and new in the green building industry, so it’s about time that we give you a few pointers on ways to make your home greener. Here are 10 simple suggestions to get your home started with a green makeover:

#1 Insulation
Energy Star® estimates that homeowners can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% on their total annual energy bill) by sealing and insulating their homes. A new home should be sealed and insulated well, but to be really green, specify an earth-friendly insulation like blue-jean insulation or cellulose insulation – there really is a wide variety of green insulation out there.

#2 Look for Energy Star Appliances
Buy only Energy Star appliances. They save you money and use less energy. Experts say that the average household does almost 400 loads of laundry each year, consuming about 13,500 gallons of water. Qualified washing machines can save 7,000 gallons of water annually, cutting utility bills by an average of $50 per year. Continue reading

More Features of the Green House

It won’t be much longer before we have photos of the finished community service project for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, but in the meantime I am going to describe even more green features that went into the construction of the Green House.

The exterior windows are Silverline brand, distributed by Robert Bowden, Inc. Silverline is an ENERGY STAR partner. Their windows reduce solar heat gain and minimize heat loss which keeps homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. A full 100% of any scrap vinyl, glass, aluminum, or cardboard remaining from production is recycled and reused. Continue reading