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New HHS Cancer List includes Styrene, Formaldehyde, and Glass Wool Fibers

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) added eight substances to its Report on Carcinogens.  The 12th Report on Carcinogens now includes a grand total of 240 listings.  HHS added formaldehyde and aristolochic acids as “known human carcinogens” and listed captafol, cobalt-tungsten carbide (in powder or hard metal form), certain inhalable glass wool fibers, o-nitrotoluene, riddelliine, and styrene as substances that are “reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens.

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Certified Homes Yield a Price Premium

In 2007, the Portland Regional Multiple Listing Service (“RMLS”) began tracking sales of homes with a green certification such as Energy Star, LEED for Homes, or Earth Advantage New Homes. The Earth Advantage Institute, an Oregon-based non-profit doing work in the green building sector, annually reviews this information in order to glean home valuation trends.

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EcoFactor Cuts Home Energy Use by 17%

EcoFactor is a company that you may begin to hear about in your neck of the woods.  Today, they announced the results of several pilots and deployments of a personalized, SaaS-based solution for managing residential energy use.  The results: households using EcoFactor saved an average of about 17% per month on energy and up to $56 per month in energy costs.

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Lowe’s Rolls Out Sungevity Solar iQuote

This week, Lowe’s, the second largest home improvement retailer in the world, and Oakland-based Sungevity, a residential solar juggernaut, announced an agreement to work together, according to a press release. As part of the agreement, Lowe’s will take an undisclosed equity position in Sungevity, and Sungevity will offer its solar solutions to Lowe’s customers through an interactive, in-store experience.

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Green Materials to Grow to $70B by 2015

U.S. demand for green building materials — products that contribute to LEED certification — is expected to reach $70 billion by 2015, according to an updated study by The Freedonia Group.  The market is currently at $39 billion, representing a staggering increase of 13% per year during the next five years.  This increase will come from green materials taking market share from non-green materials, but the main driver for demand is a rebound from the construction doldrums of recent years.

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Study: Green Too Fringe for Mainstream

OgilvyEarth, a sustainability consultancy, studied the mainstream consumer and posted some fascinating research.  Specifically, 82% of Americans have good green intentions, while only 16% of Americans are firmly dedicated to fulfilling those green intentions — leaving 66% in the middle, the “Middle Green,” wanting to do more but not getting it done.  This deficiency between intent and action — the Green Gap — is explained with some firm solutions in a 131-page reported called Mainstream Green.

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