Letting the sun’s rays reach your home’s interior rooms, or down to lower level, is a challenge on any project, and virtually impossible without cutting a large hole in your roof. But now, Solectric offers an electronic skylight that promises the next best thing — interior lighting that is powered by the sun and can be rendered at the same color temperature.
The Green Button initiative, which gives customers access to their energy consumption data, is gathering steam as three California utilities announced in January they are offering the standardized energy use data to more than 10 million customers. The initial announcement by San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and Pacific Gas & Electric was followed by Glendale Power and Water, and Pepco Holdings, Inc., which said it will provide the streamlined data by summer of 2012 as it continues to deploy smart meters in its service area.
New Town Builders, the company that uses beetle-killed pine for their framing, opened this net-zero energy home with an announcement yesterday. The company is the first in the area to offer a zero-energy package as a regular, additional option. In other words, if a buyer wants it, the buyer can get a home that generates as much energy as it uses over the course of a year for the right price — in this case, $26,900.
Induction cooktops are expensive but they’re also fast and efficient — a report for the Department of Energy says induction has a cooking efficiency of 84%. So when a company combines the efficiency of induction cooking with new cutting-edge technology, as shown by Thermador’s Freedom Induction Cooktop, there’s going to be some interest.
Switch Lighting, creator of the only LED that uses liquid cooling technology, is on the cusp of a breakout year in 2012. The Switch bulb creates the same warm color of an incandescent, yet it’s made with reclaimable or recyclable materials using the Cradle to Cradle methodology. Inside the bulb is a liquid thermal cooling solution that helps cool the LEDs from all sides, producing more light from less LEDs. In fact, a Switch bulb lasts about 25 times longer and uses 80% less energy than an incandescent.