A typical 3kWp (kilo Watt-peak) solar system, which produces about 2 500 kWh of electricity annually, or the equivalent of two thirds of a typical American household`s consumption, will end up around $15 000. There is no doubt that purchasing solar panels turn off a lot of homeowners because of the high upfront costs and home insurance. In the last couple of years things have changed the situation for the better – Smart and creative financing models have been put in place to make solar power more affordable for Average Joe.
According to PV Solar Report, more than three out of four Californians prefer third-party-owned solar, which also happens to be the market share as of February 2012:
The same trend can be seen across the rest of the country as well – and it keeps growing. What are the different third-party-owned financing models that are available? › Continue reading
Almost everyone will want to have cheaper electricity which provides both an endless supply and is also good for the environment. A great way of achieving this is by purchasing and installing solar panels on your home; a great step towards reducing your carbon footprint.
Purchasing solar panels has become more and more popular within cities, villages and the suburbs alike; but there is still a vast majority of people reluctant to install their own, namely because they are not sure how installing solar panels may affect their insurance policy.
The largest misconception is that installing solar panels will increase the premium of a home insurance policy. Shopping around and comparing quotes will show that in most cases there will be no change to the cost of the policy and some insurance companies might even offer lower rates.
It is really important to have the solar panels installed properly, since shady construction work and installations might affect your right to make a claim. Always use a certified installer and a certified solar panel dealer. › Continue reading
Please excuse the sensationalist title, but it was just too good to pass up, and oddly true at the same time. Research into the links between the increase in weight and the warming temperature of our homes has resulted in some startling news- Warmer homes contribute to weight gain.
Now before you turn your house into a meat locker, you ought to know that small changes can have an effect. Just turning down the thermostat a few degrees can not only boost your energy savings, but also help shed ‘brown fat’, which lingers around the necks of adults.
The research focused around 1500 adults and found that over a six year period, those who kept their home temperature warmer (in the top third of the group), were twice as likely to become obese. To think that for every degree (F) you lower your thermostat below 68, you will save 3-5% off your heating costs. › Continue reading
Green Holiday Preparation – More than Just the Tree!
Besides the fact that green is basically one of only two colors we have to think about for an entire month and your home is probably about to get be-decked in greenery from pine trees and boughs and wreaths galore, not a lot of us (surely not enough of us) really think about how we can make our actual holiday preparations green. Yet, this month and season is one of the greatest for taking advantage of every opportunity to be greener, from our holiday baking to our gift wrapping. If you’re ready to be green this season, here are some easy ways to get started.
Rather than purchase holiday cards which bring down your green “score” so to speak, with the paper used, ink used, emissions transporting the cards to your store and then the emissions used to deliver cards to destinations across the US, consider making this your year to go with e-cards. If you’re a family and like to do pictures, this actually makes it even easier. Or, you can opt for my favorite idea and film a short clip of the family wishing everyone happy holidays, a silly skit or a Christmas carol or whatever else your creative mind can think up! Attach the clip to an e-card and you’ve got a Christmas card destined to › Continue reading
Ever taken a good look at your heating or cooling bill and wanted to do something about it? Well, even if you have and bought a smart programmable thermostat, you may be spending more than without one.
A recent study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that “as many as 50 percent of residential programmable thermostats are in permanent ‘hold’ status.” Even the the governments Energy Star program removed their endorsement from all programmable thermostats primary because people don’t have the time or patience to program them properly, and the thermostat controls half of the homes energy bill. That is a lot of power for a device that effectively works no better than your sprinkler system.
Enter the NEST Learning Thermostat, the brain child of Tony Fadell, the iPod hardware designer and former iPod and iPhone division VP for Apple, after trying to decide on a thermostat for his new green home in Tahoe. A complete departure from anything you find on the market today, it is an iPod in a world of cassette walk-mans. › Continue reading
A while back, I wrote about Green Driveways and Paths, which ended up being a pretty popular article. I figured that it would be helpful to see your options when it comes to porous surfaces, permeable paths and eco-friendly driveways.
Green driveways not only are more pleasant to look at, they also can reduce urban heat retention, reduce CO2, reduce runoff, improve drainage and aquifer recharging, provide some water filtration and more! They can also be cheaper in the long run over asphault (resurfacing costs and crack repairs) and concrete (repairing cracks, staining) not to mention preventing washouts and pot holes.
Systems already embraced in Europe typically last over 20-30 years, with little to no repairs or maintenance. The main options for green driveways are using some sort of permeable surface along with turf, gravel or ground cover to enhance the beauty and green factor.
› Continue reading
Now for a local, small business and community centric alternative to the Seattle 2010 Go Green Conference. Seattle’s Eco-Chic Expo is being held on Saturday, May 1st, at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center located in Northeast Seattle. A self described “interactive green lifestyle event”, the event is put together to provide the general public with an interactive day of tips, tricks and products to help people live greener, yet fashionable, lives. The Expo is free to the public and features a number of local companies dedicated to sustainable lifestyles. › Continue reading
1. Procrastinate: Save your laundry until the last minute. Don’t run the washing machine until you have a full load. And hey, it’s not the end of the world if you wear pants more than a couple times between washes. Think about it, you’re saving energy and water, and you’re saving time, so you can take more naps. Eco-friendly naps.
2. Don’t cook: Eat raw instead. A diet rich in raw fruit and veg is not only great for you, it is very eco-friendly. Raw diets have picked up quite a following over recent years. They are thought to help prevent health problems, strengthen the immune system, stabilize your BMI, clear your skin, and even increase your energy, which is important for us lazy folk. According to www.rawfoodlife.com, organic, raw food is as much as 200-300% more nutritionally dense than a traditional cooked diet. Of course you’re not going to want to eat raw meat. But that just gives you the chance to eat less anyway. For that matter, › Continue reading
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