How to Unlock Energy Efficiency as a National, Low-Cost Resource

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Unless you live in a cave, you’ve probably heard about McKinsey & Company’s new report called Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy.  Starting in 2008, a research team from McKinsey began working with companies, experts, agencies, and NGOs to (1) understand the net present value (NPV) positive potential of energy efficiency gains, (2) identify barriers to realizing these gains, and (3) outline practical solutions to unlock the potential energy efficiency gains.  This comprehensive report documents that effort.

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By |August 4th, 2009|Energy Efficiency, News|3 Comments

The Waxman-Markey Building Energy Performance Labeling Program

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There's been a lot of talk about various green building provisions in the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (HR 2454 or "ACES"), but there's one specific section of ACES that deserves more attention.  Section 204 needs to be included in the green building discussion, because this is where the Building Energy Performance Labeling Program is.  With this program, as we predicted with our Seven Green Trends, the federal government could lay the foundation for true and legitimate building environmental impact labels.  Let's talk about this unprecedented policy, with a little background discussion. 

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By |July 1st, 2009|Energy Efficiency, News|3 Comments

LionForce ecoLiving Custom Green Home

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San Antonio-based LionForce built this efficient home as a prototype for their ecoLiving System — a web-based configurator that will help homeowners design homes and build them through a national network of certified building partners.  LionForce says their homes are efficient, healthy, low-maintenance, quickly constructed, and cost effective.  This first prototype home, the T-2 home, has already received a 2009 Green Building Award from the City of San Antonio (in the custom home under 2,200 square feet category). 

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By |June 25th, 2009|Energy Efficiency, Single Family|9 Comments

Free Microsoft Hohm App Coming Soon!

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If you haven't noticed, the big news today is Microsoft Hohm, a free online beta application that's rumored to launch sometime next week.  Microsoft Hohm will be a web-based service that takes information about your energy use — not just electricity — and examines it to provide recommendations to save money and energy.  Here's what you can do:

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By |June 24th, 2009|Energy Efficiency, Gadgets|1 Comment

Oregon Shift House Seeks Passive House

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Last week, Willamette Week Online published an article called "Futurehaus," which we linked to in our Saturday Week in Review.  The article describes an Oregon Passive House project in the works by Root Design Build.  The house is referred to as the Shift House, which, awkwardly enough, is not to be confused with the other Shift Home that we covered recently.  But that's not to take anything away from it.  With construction set to begin next month, upon completion in September, it'll be one of only a few certified Passive Houses in the United States. 

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By |June 10th, 2009|Energy Efficiency, Single Family|6 Comments

Hella Efficient Exterior Venetian Blinds

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I noticed BuildingGreen added these exterior venetian blinds to the GreenSpec Directory recently.  Hella exterior blinds are distributed in the U.S. through Savannah Trims and available in slat sizes of 2", 3.1", and 4".  The blinds are aluminum, have lateral tension, and can be controlled manually or electrically.  They're slick looking and come in a variety of heights, widths, and colors. 

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By |May 25th, 2009|Energy Efficiency, Gadgets|17 Comments