Monday, January 24, 2011

Lighting up the Neighborhood

Sustainable 19125 gives out CFLs on MLK day. Image info.
I missed a chance to meet up with the folks at Sustainable 19125 last week for their MLK day of service event, but it sure looks like they had fun mixing with Philly's Kensington community while helping to "light up the neighborhood" with free CFL bulbs for local residents. Toby from their office told me it was a great success and that a swarm of volunteers came out to help.

CFLs, or compact flourescent lightbulbs, can greatly reduce electric usage over standard incandescent types because they give off more light and require less energy. They also, on average, last much longer. Switching to CFLs is often the first reccomendation suggested when an energy auditor evaluates a home for energy savings.

For more on this topic and the good efforts of Sustainable 19125 check in at their informative website DeMers


Helping Keep Your New Year's Resolution
Sound advice from EnergyWorks and the ECA: 
Image by D.A. DeMers. GNU license.
The number one New Year’s Resolution for 2011 is to save money, and while many financial experts would recommend increased savings, investing or getting out of debt; with electricity prices and the cost of gas going up, the best way to keep your New Year resolution of saving money is to save energy.

Not only does saving money on energy bills provide home owners the best return on your most valuable investment; your home, it also increases the comfort of your home and can earn 6% to 20% return on investment, compared to a savings account which barely yields ½ percent and a Certificate of Deposit that may get you 4% or 5%. By investing in energy saving work for your home you also avoid the impact of rising gas, oil, and electricity costs.

With EnergyWorks, homeowners in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties can upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes and save money through an unprecedented combination of rebates, tax credits, and low interest loans, together with highly trained and certified energy analysts and contractors.  Energy Works is designed to help homeowners maximize their return by strategically investing in saving energy at home.

For example, a $2,000 investment = 10% reduction in your monthly energy bill with a $180 monthly bill, 10% x $180 = $18 per month. $18 x 12 = $216 per year. Therefore, a $216 savings/$2,000 investment = a 10.8% return on your money! You can’t get that return on investment at any bank, investment bank or on the stock market. Here are some other ways to save money and energy in the New Year.

  • Install a programmable thermostat and turn it back by 10 to 15 degrees when you’re asleep or not at home can save around 10% a year on heating and cooling bills.
  • Keep your hot water heater at 120◦ F and install a hot water heater insulating blanket. These two tips can save up to 5% to 10% in water heating energy cost.
  • Unplug appliances when you’re not using them.

To learn more about Energy Works or schedule a home energy assessment, visit and start saving now!


Green is the New Red, White and Blue
Peter Bycks film Carbon Nation picks up the pride.
Texas Wind Farmer Cliff Etheredge. Image info.
Empire State Building retrofit check. Image info.

Coming to theaters this February is an inspiring, entertaining new documentary from filmmaker Peter Byck that beautifully captures the zeal, heart and might of the rapidly growing clean energy movement in America. The film portrays the industry in a non-partisan, personable fashion, telling the remarkable story of how everyday people with a renewed sense of American ingenuity are doing amazing things to help lead us to a brighter future.

"We made this film for my Uncle Phil – a conservative who finds my liberal ways amusing," says Mr Byck, on his blog. "We made this film for the folks who see solutions to climate change as a national security issue – we have a chapter solely on the green hawks in the Department of Defense. We made this film for people who simply see huge profits to be made in energy efficiency. We made it for the great many Americans who don’t want to be told they’ve done something wrong, but do appreciate clean air and clean water."

Carbon Nation trailer.

For more information on this wondrous film, including theater locations or how you can participate in spreading the word, see the Carbon Nation website at DeMers.


Shadowing a Home Energy Inspector
Sourced from Jonathon Hickes and Grist. 

I was sent this link in my email a couple months ago, and sure feel bad for not getting to it sooner - been a busy time recently for Home Science. Regardless, Jonathan Hickes's inside look at the Energy Auditor job is a spectacular, informative piece, and well worth re-posting--D.A DeMers

Blower door air leakage test. Picasa image.
Weatherizing homes to cut heat waste makes all kinds of good sense -- it lowers utility bills, makes homes more comfortable, creates building-industry jobs, saves energy, is both a floor wax and a dessert topping, etc. Grist has sung the praises of building efficiency so often we've taken to recycling our old jokes (and they're not even good ones). We're usually looking at the big-picture questions of climate, economy, and jobs. For example, there's nothing better Congress could do right now than pass a well-designed retrofit program like the Home Star bill, which would save 44 times the amount of energy that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico this summer.

Blah, blah, green jobs, blah. Screw all that top-level policy for a moment. Let's take a look at how this stuff works on the ground.

I ventured out into the Real World (soon to be acquired by Google) last Friday to shadow Paul Holt, who runs home-energy inspections for the Seattle company EcoFab. Paul remodeled homes for much of his career, then moved into selling high-efficiency windows until he realized that "wasn't really the answer to energy efficiency." So he studied for the Building Performance Institute home performance certificate and passed the test two years ago. He's also a photo and printmaking artist. Read more...

Related articles
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment