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The Colonoscopy of Energy Efficiency

Earlier this week, the Shelton Group released its seventh annual Energy Pulse report, which has 450 pages of analysis, charts, graphs, and crosstabs based on the survey of 1,502 Americans.  I haven’t seen the $5,000 report but would like to share some takeaways from a release and executive summary.  Particularly, of the respondents, 42% had installed high-efficiency windows, 39% had installed extra insulation, 37% had installed higher efficiency HVAC systems, and 24% had installed a higher efficiency water heater.

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Illuminate and Insulate with CanCoverIt

David Hanacek of EcoCycle Solutions loves to think up practical, cost-effective building products that make a big impact on efficiency. Take his Flow-Thru Finisher for example, a handy little caulk gun attachment that helps get adhesive exactly where and how you want it.  Before that, it was a clog-free drain device and lightweight steel shipping pallets.  But it’s his new invention, the CanCoverIt, that gets him most excited.   After all, what looks like a ho-hum, odd-looking box is actually a breakthrough invention that can save countless kilowatts and millions of dollars for homeowners. Read more »

New ESL Light Bulbs to Hit Lowe’s Soon

Turns out the new Electron Stimulated Luminescence (ESL) R30 light bulb by Vu1 Corporation, which we first mentioned in January 2011, will be available at Lowes.com in December 2011 and in Lowe’s stores nationwide in February 2012, according to a company statement.  The flood light is expected to retail for $14.98.

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Nest is a Next-Gen Smart Thermostat

The average home spends more than $2,200 per year on energy bills and roughly half of this amount goes towards heating and cooling, according to the Department of Energy.  When a programmable thermostat is set and used properly, a homeowner can save about $180 annually.  But the problem is, virtually everyone with a programmable thermostat doesn’t set or use it properly.  Nest Labs, a Palo Alto-based start-up, aims to solve this problem with a new thermostat that’s simple, sleek, intuitive, and smart.

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The EPA Upgrades DVR Efficiency Rules

A few months back, the New York Times put a spotlight on the obscene energy use of cable, DVR, and other set-top boxes.  There are 160 million set-top boxes in the US, according to the EPA, and these boxes annually consume about $3 billion in electricity.  What’s shocking is the fact that about 66% of this electricity is spent when no one is watching and no shows are being recorded.  In the home, the DOE estimates that two set-top boxes will use about 500 kWh of energy every year — more energy than it takes to run a new refrigerator!

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Customize Your Energy Efficient Home

*This is a sponsored article in association with Plastics Make It Possible.

In conjunction with the Solar Decathlon, Plastics Make It Possible created an interactive home to show people how plastic products can be used to make a home comfortable and energy efficient.  For example, window coverings can reduce home heating and cooling, flexible plumbing can be used for direct runs to deliver hot water faster, and plastic-encased solar shingles can blend into the roof while creating energy from the sun.

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