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Five Easy Solar Options for the Home

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Perhaps you've seen one of a few micro-inverter-type solar products on the market and wondered whether you could install a solar system at home.  Unless you're an electrician, that may or may not be a good idea, but these products (some available now and others coming to market) make it a whole lot easier to get started generating solar energy at home.  Check these five:

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GE Nucleus: Home Energy Manager

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Earlier this summer, GE launched the first product in its Brillion suite of home energy management solutions, the Nucleus.  This is a data storage device that collects household electricity cost and use data and gives it to homeowners via computer and smart phones.  Nucleus is expected to be available for consumer purchase in early 2011 for the price of $149-199. 

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Easy Plug-In Solar from Clarian Power

Awning

Clarian Power, a start up from Seattle, is on a mission to help homeowners everywhere generate energy from renewable energy.  The company developed a proprietary power module that plugs into an existing outlet.  In other words, their Sunfish solar product, which is slated for retail availability next year, installs without a dedicated electrical panel and does not require contractors, installers, or additional wires. 

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Using Smart Insight to Conserve Energy

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Let’s just say you need to know how much power a certain device is using. You can do that with this new product from Belkin. Conserve Insight, available for pre-order on Amazon for $29.99, was designed to help consumers conserve energy. The energy monitor shows you how much a device costs in watts, dollars, and carbon dioxide using preloaded or custom rate information. Belkin also has three other Conserve gadgets available for pre-order should you have the need: Smart AV, Valet, and Socket.

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Home Depot Selling Cheap LEDs Online

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If you’re looking to make the switch from incandescent to LED lighting, now may be a good time.  The Home Depot struck a deal with the Lighting Science Group Corporation and is the exclusive seller of an affordable line of ECOSMART LED products.  One bulb in the product line, the A19 LED 40-watt equivalent, sells for $19.97 each.

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Lush Edible Living Wall in Los Angeles

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Tournesol Siteworks makes a modular living wall system that was installed at Pizzeria Mozza on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.  GreenScaped Buildings installed the green wall with 100% recycled polypropylene plastic modules, a Uni-Strut frame, and Netafim in-line drip irrigation.  The result is a lush and massive wall — now about 120 square feet on the east facing wall — that protrudes roughly 15 inches from the surface.  It grows lettuce, peppermint, celery, parsley, sage, and other edible plants. 

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