Clayton Homes, maker of the popular i-House, is the largest producer of homes in the country and accounted for 7% of homes constructed in 2011, according to the annual report of parent Berkshire Hathaway. They have a large residential footprint, and their efforts to educate home purchasers can go a long way. So it’s great to learn of their recent announcement of a new home energy label along the lines of what we’ve discussed previously with other builders.
This is the first and only UL-listed, 120-volt, plug-and-play solar kit in the world, according to SpinRay Energy. The DeckPower120 comes with one, 240-watt solar panel and can be hung on a deck or elsewhere outdoors using a simple mount bracket. The system allows for up to 1,300 watts of AC power with five solar panels and should qualify for available federal (and sometimes state) tax credits.
Today GE introduced a new and innovative 100-watt replacement bulb that uses only 27 watts with the help of LEDs and jet technology. The Energy Smart bulb won’t be available until the first half of 2013 at an undetermined price, though the technology will be on display at the LIGHTFAIR conference that’s being held in Las Vegas this week.
This is the first Energy Star qualified home in British Columbia, according to builder Mandala Homes. The company’s been around since 2000, and this is their new, round showcase with passive solar design, tuned windows, non-toxic finishes, a custom greenhouse, and all sorts of materials that emphasize energy efficiency. It’s owned by Mandala Homes president Lars Chose and partner Rachel Ross.
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.
This is yet another “Must-See” product and the People’s Choice winner at KBIS 2012. Called U-Socket, the AC wall outlet has two USB 3.0-compatible power ports and can be installed on a 16 cubic inch or larger single gang electrical box, according to Fastmac, the manufacturer. The listed product meets UL and NEC specifications and carries a 5-star energy-efficient design. The USA-made outlet has a smart sensor that recognizes when a device is charged and shuts down, cutting back on vampire energy.