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Energy Efficiency is Pervasive These Days

In findings presented at the NAHB’s National Green Building Conference and Expo in Nashville, McGraw-Hill Construction said more than 80% of builders and remodelers responded that energy efficiency is making homes greener now than in the last couple years, according to a SmartMarket Report called New and Remodeled Green Homes: Transforming the Residential Marketplace.

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Upfront Cost of Installing Solar at Home

California-based Sunrun and Harris Interactive recently announced the results of a survey of 2,211 adults (1,475 homeowners) about the cost and desirability of installing a home solar system.  The main sound bite is the one-liner that “97% of Americans overestimate the cost of going solar,” as well as the stat that “nearly 8 out of 10 of those who do not already have solar panels say they would install solar if cost were not a factor.

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A Cautionary Tale re: Prefab Home Kit

A future homeowner inherits a chunk of land in Ulster County, New York and decides to put a dreamy modern prefab on it.  I can understand that.  The owner picks an LVL model home from Rocio Romero, and the kit costs $47,000, including such things as the plans, a construction binder, open wall panels, certain structural materials, and the exterior siding.  The owner budgets just over $120,000 to finish the 1,669 square-foot home and hires a contractor to do the work, but that’s where things go wrong.

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SunPower Readies 24%-Efficient Solar Cell

San Jose-based SunPower Corp. has a great thing going on right now.  They’re constantly pushing the standard and recently announced the commercial production of the company’s third-generation Maxeon solar cell that delivers a sunlight to electricity conversion efficiency of up to 24%.

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SolarCity Expands with Home Energy Loans

California-based SolarCity started out with solar and gradually expanded to energy efficiency services.  Now, with more than 5,000 efficiency projects completed or underway, the company wants to help the typical U.S. family save some of about $1,900 that’s spent every year on home utility bills.  The company just announced a plan to make energy-efficiency improvements more accessible with a new Home Energy Loan.

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Green Homes Currently a $17 B Market

Green homes comprised 17%, or $17 billion, of the overall residential construction market in 2011, according to new findings in the Green Home Builders and Remodelers Study by McGraw-Hill Construction.  Mc-Graw Hill predicts green homes will gain market share over the next few years to between 29-38% of the market by 2016 — a market that could equate to $87-114 billion by these forecasts.

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