On average, water heating is the second largest energy expenditure behind heating and cooling, according to information on the Energy Star website. Folks spend anywhere from $400-$600 per year on water heating, so it’s a good area to scrutinize when trying to save energy at home. In South Carolina, thanks to a grant from the state energy office, 60 homes received a shiny, new Velux solar water heating system to showcase the benefits of this technology.
This month 37 Parkside Avenue in Southampton – the HGA House – received LEED Platinum certification with a sizable 104 points. Sadly to say, it was built after David and Saundra Dubin’s original home was destroyed in a fire a couple years ago. The green home is nicely done, traditional, and wired up with all sorts of green gadgetry, perhaps showing folks in the jumbo luxury market what it takes to secure LEED Platinum certification.
Let's say you can't put solar on your roof. One option to tap into solar power would be to purchase a share of community solar. Another option, depending on your land situation, would be a pole-mounted setup with system that tracks the sun. Wattsun, the residential arm of manufacturer Array Technologies, offers a few such PV systems worth checking out.
This self-sufficient home took a 2010 Evergreen Award from Eco-structure in the Greenhouse category and features some impressive, green elements. Built in Houston for owners Daniel and Adele Hedges, the home – referred to as Virginia Point – is net-zero energy, near net-zero water, and the first home in Houston to receive LEED Platinum certification.
Khosla Ventures-backed Cogenra Solar made big news this month when it celebrated the unveiling of an impressive 272-kW solar cogeneration installation at Sonoma Wine Company in Graton, California. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair attended the event to flip the switch on 15 Cogenra SunBase modules that generate both electricity and hot water for the winery.
Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of Sierra Bonita, an affordable housing development in West Hollywood, is the facade-integrated solar array that powers most of the peak load electricity demand for the common areas. The building also has a solar-powered hot water heating system, but beneath the clearly visible green technology is a modern building with apartments fully adaptable for its disabled residents.