Innovative solutions for creating healthy, efficient, eco-friendly homes

August 2008

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Energy Star Fridge

Portland's Floating Solar Home

When my wife Kathryn and I decided to build our next home, we had a number of design objectives. Our primary goal was to build a home that would come as close as practical to net-zero energy performance. Net-zero is the concept that a home produces as much energy as it consumes. The vast majority of existing homes — more than 98 percent — produce no energy or minimal energy for space heating and cooling, water heating and various electricity demands.

Saving Energy with Lighting Controls

Lighting accounts for about 15 percent of an average home’s energy costs, so it’s a good place to start if you want to reduce your monthly utility bill.

Home energy resource guide

Homeowners who want to cut their energy bills have a lot of options — and a lot of important decisions to make. Fortunately, you can turn to a wide range of energy-related resources for assistance. The following organizations, companies and institutions can provide the information you need to make the right choices.

22 ways to cut energy costs now

At this point in time it’s evident that energy costs are not going down anytime soon. In fact, as gasoline prices continue to remain high, it’s obvious that any energy-related lifestyle improvements we make today will produce big dividends in the months and years ahead. It seems as though every facet of our lives relates to energy use of some type, including the vehicles we drive, the mass transportation we take and, of course, the homes we build and live in.

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