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!

(more…)

By |October 20th, 2011|Energy Efficiency, Gadgets|1 Comment

Wittus Intros Efficient Wood Pellet Stove

Toba is an award-winning pellet stove designed in Italy by MCZ Group SpA in collaboration with EMO.  The simple, modern appliance can warm a space of about 1,800 square feet at more than 90% efficiency, according to Wittus, which announced plans in June 2011 to import Toba into the US.

(more…)

By |October 19th, 2011|Modern design, Technology|0 Comments

Ecobee High-Tech Wireless Thermostat

ecobee wireless smart thermostat

One of the many friends of Jetson Green in attendance at Greenbuild this year pointed our attention to the ecobee thermostat, a high-tech, wirelessly connected, programmable thermostat. In addition to controlling temperature, ecobee also gives you control over the fan settings (allowing you to have the air circulation operate for a minimum number of minutes per hour). Ecobee measures humidity and can be used to control humidification/dehumidification equipment.

(more…)

By |October 13th, 2011|Energy Efficiency, Gadgets|4 Comments

Small Wind Turbine Available at Lowe’s

As the small wind industry grows, it’s becoming easier to buy certain models of turbines online and from big-box retailers.  For example, Southwest Windpower offers the Skystream 3.7 through Home Depot and now offers the Whisper 100 through Lowe’s.  Whisper 100 can produce up to 100 kWh a month in moderate to high winds, according to Southwest Windpower.

(more…)

By |October 13th, 2011|Wind|7 Comments

Interview: LiFe Powered by the Sun

Carolyn and Kyle Cave, both university professors in Hadley, Massachusetts, built this super-insulated home to minimize energy consumption.  Then they dropped a 20kW solar PV array on the roof and now use energy from the sun to generate a surplus that also powers this tiny little Wheego LiFe electric vehicle.  I was able to ask Carolyn Cave a few questions about their solar-powered situation, and this is a portion of that response:

(more…)

By |October 7th, 2011|Conservation, Solar|3 Comments

CertainTeed Intros New Apollo Solar Roof

During Greenbuild in Toronto, CertainTeed Corporation introduced a new solar photovoltaic system called the Apollo Solar Roofing System.  Apollo skips the rack and mount for a seamless profile that integrates with standard roof shingles.  Each 12-pound module has 14 high-efficiency, polycrystalline silicon solar cells that soak up the sun and convert it to energy to power the underlying home.

(more…)

By |October 7th, 2011|News, Solar|2 Comments