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

August 2008

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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.

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 solar by satellite

The process of installing solar panels on a home often involves several preliminary visits by an installer, who will take elaborate measurements of your roof, possibly resulting in added costs and delays caused by scheduling conflicts. However, a California company has reduced this preliminary stage of the process to just a few short hours, thanks to a simplified online system that uses satellite imagery.

SH Bookshelf: Setting goals to save energy

Homeowners who are serious about reducing energy costs can turn to two books that provide real-world, hands-on advice and practical solutions. "The Homeowner’s Handbook to Energy Efficiency," by John Krigger and Chris Dorsi, starts by advocating the development of a plan for your home and explains how to analyze your energy consumption, calculate your energy costs, schedule a home energy audit and set goals.

Remodeling for peak efficiency

Many homeowners embark on green renovations without giving energy efficiency the priority it deserves. The energy a home consumes over its life span has a far greater environmental impact than just about any product a homeowner can select. Recycled glass tile and bamboo flooring, for instance, are certainly attractive and can play a role in an overall green strategy.

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