GE Unveils New Cyclopentane Fridges

GE just announced a big improvement in what it uses to make 16-, 17-, and 18-cubic-foot top-freezer refrigerators in Decatur, Alabama.  After retrofitting its existing plant (to keep jobs in the states), GE swapped out HFC-134a as a foam-blowing agent in favor of using cyclopentane, a blowing agent with significantly less global warming potential.

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By |April 29th, 2011|Energy Efficiency, Gadgets|1 Comment

Fuel-Free Yard Work with EcoMower

You can do one of two things with a grass lawn.  First, you can get rid of it and save water and fuel.  Or, second, you can minimize the lawn surface and avoid fuels when maintaining it.  If the latter is your approach, this new Helix HX1000 from family-owned EcoMower could come in handy.  The light, 21-pound reel mower takes a 16″ path with heat-treated, carbon steel blades designed to cut without much upkeep.  Maintain the quiet, get some exercise, and ditch carbon-based fuels with this reel mower selling from $220.

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By |April 28th, 2011|Energy Efficiency, Products|7 Comments

Super-Efficient ADU Complete in Portland

The accessory dwelling unit (ADU) market is alive and well in the Concordia neighborhood of Portland, Oregon.  People like these tiny structures — sometimes referred to as backyard cottages, granny flats, or laneway houses — because they can be leased out or used to accommodate an expanding family situation.  And, as these structures grow in popularity, they’re getting greener, too.  For instance, check out this high-performance ADU built by Hammer & Hand and designed by Departure Design.

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By |April 27th, 2011|Energy Efficiency, Single Family|5 Comments

Near NZE Morning Sun Home in Oregon

This is Morning Sun, a near net-zero energy home completed at the end of December 2009 for owners Doug and Emily Boleyn.  The high-performance abode — designed by Matthew Daby of m.o. daby design llc and built by Cellar Ridge Custom Homes — received LEED Platinum certification, Oregon High Performance Home certification, and an Energy Performance Score of 31, making it one of the most decorated green projects in Happy Valley.

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By |April 26th, 2011|LEED, Single Family|5 Comments

Switch Intros Affordable LED Light Bulbs

A new company, Switch Lighting, just introduced some new lights that look promising.  The San Jose-based company has what it calls “the brightest warm light LED replacement available,” according to a news release, and we’ve been able to get access to a couple photos of the 75W bulb.  The Cradle to Cradle bulbs — 40W, 60W, and 75W equivalents — have a self-cooling design that maximizes brightness and requires fewer LEDs.

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By |April 20th, 2011|Energy Efficiency, Technology|11 Comments

Philips Unveils Edison Light Bulb Killer

Some folks are up in arms over Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, which requires about 25% more efficient light bulbs starting in January 2012.  The bi-partisan law phases out the standard Edison bulb in favor of better options like this upgraded light bulb.  The Philips EcoVantage light offers an incremental improvement over the norm with 28% energy savings, a low price, and incandescent-style light.

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By |April 20th, 2011|Energy Efficiency, Technology|5 Comments