Tag Archives: ENERGY STAR

Retrofitting – Low Level Upgrades

Retrofitting is an easy way to institute lower-level upgrades to improve energy efficiency, indoor air quality, conserve resources and meet other green goals.
Some options include:

  • Programmable thermostats

  • cflsCFLs

  • Lighting controls such as timers, dimmers and occupancy sensors

  • Hot water Heater Jackets

  • energystarENERGY STAR Appliances

  • Duct Sealing

  • Rain barrels

  • Retrofit kits for wood-burning fireplaces

  • Water filters on faucets

  • lowflowfaucetLow-flow faucets

  • Weather-stripping and caulking

In the real estate world of San Francisco a required inspection is the “Energy Inspection” which includes wrapping of the water heater, weatherstripping, insulating accessible areas like your attic, duct wrapping and more.  I can put you in touch with my “Go to” energy inspector who can do the inspection for a very small fee and perform the work.  You can then have an energy compliance certificate filed with the City upon completion.  If you haven’t done this already upon the transfer of your last purchase or sale, this is a good time to do it.  Give me a ring.

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Fantastic GREEN Links and Lots of them

Here is a great list of links to check out regarding all things GREEN that you might think of including, GREEN building, energy, tips, walkability, water, land use, design, recycling, interior designers, shopping, conservation, fuel efficiencyand more.

Carbon Footprint Calculators:  www.earthlab.com, www.conservation.org, www.carbonfund.org

American Wind Energy Association Source:  www.awea.org

National Wildlife Foundation provides an online water caluclator:  www.nwf.org/water/watercalculator

Center for Neighborhood Technology indexing tool: www.cnt.org

SustainLane index: www.sustainlane.com

Yale Envirnmental Performance Index: http://epi.yale.edu

What Causes Sprawl, National Center for Policy Analysis 2003:  www.ncpa.org

Walkability Scores: www.walkscore.com

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: www.epa.gov

ENERGY STAR:  www.energystar.gov

Residential Services Network (RESNET) HErs SCORE: WWW.RESNET.US

American Society of Interior Designer, Inc., REGREEN Guidelines 2008 & case studies: www.regreenprogram.org

US Dept. of Energy: www.energy.gov

Alameda County Waste Management Authority & Source Reduction and Recylcling board, Home Remodeling Green Guidelines:  www.stopwaste.org

2007 “The Green Homeowner, Attitudes, Preferences for Remodeling & Buying Green Homes”: www.construction.com

Forest Stewardship Council: www.fscus.org

Green Seal: www.greenseal.org

Whole building Design guide: www.wbdg.org

National Association of Home builders: www.nahb.org

Model Green Home Building Guidelines:  www.nahb.org

Health House Builder Guidelines:  www.healthhouse.org/build

Residential Building Diagnostic tools: www.toolbase.org

American Institute of Architects “Walk the Walk campagian: www.aia.org/walkthewalk

Green Products: www.greenseal.org/findaproduct

Bean Products-Thrash Cans and other cool products: www.beanproducts.com

Green Janitorial supplies:  www.greenearthofficesupply.com

Recycle Info:  www.freecycle.com

Video, The Story of Stuff:  www.storyof stuff.com

California Dept. of Conservation: www.conservation.ca.gov

Energy Star fact sheet: www.doityourself.com/stry/energy-star-fact-sheet

Fuel Efficiency: www.fueleconomy.gov

C oming soon – a review and blurb about my website reccommendations!  I’d say this a good start though, happy browsing!

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Catch the Green Wave

Catch the Green Wave

Just outside of the tiny town of Saybrook, Illinois is some of the “greenest” farmland to be found anywhere in the Midwest. This pic was snapped traveling down a lovely country blacktop last October.6a0105361dfb6d970c01156fa30707970bThese graceful towers are absolutely silent, but are generating power for thousands of residents in Illinois. That’s a good thing, because in the United States alone, buildings alone account for:

• 70% of electricity
• 39% of all energy use
• 39% of all (CO2) emissions
• 40% of raw materials use
• 30% of waste output
(136 million tons annually)
• 12% of potable water

Sustainable residences, commercial properties, developments, and communities are so important to all of us. If you are seeking a green home or building, there are real estate professionals who specialize in “green.”

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Green Designation is the definition of green professionalism, excellence, and leadership for today’s real estate practitioners. This training program is specifically designed to address the educational needs of practitioners in residential, commercial, and property management markets. The program provides real estate professionals with the knowledge and awareness of green building principles applied in residences, commercial properties, developments, and communities so that they can list, market, and manage green properties as well as guide buyer-clients, in purchasing green homes and buildings.

The Green Designation enables real estate professionals to incorporate green principles into their practice and encourages the real estate professional to be an advocate in spreading the green philosophy and be a positive force for creating sustainable and energy efficient communities of homes and commercial buildings.

What does it really mean when it comes to being a homeowner or looking for that eco-friendly home?

A homeowner can do many things to go green in the home. For example, some tips regarding electricity according to Planet Green are:

· Audit yourself – determine how energy is used in your home, where it is lost, etc. Many utilities offer energy audits as a free service.

· Reduce your use – replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLS);turn off lights and devices when not in use; eliminate electronics that sleep on a standby setting as they continue to pull electric even when turned off; line dry (when possible)

· Put your house on a diet – Houses consume a large amount of energy when heating and cooling. To cut down on costs, utilize natural ventilation instead of air conditioning when possible such as ceiling and whole-house fans. Keep shades drawn during the hottest period of the day in the summer. If you use electric for your water heater, purchase an insulated blanket to wrap around the water heater.

· Buy wise – After heating and cooling, appliances are the next biggest electricity users. When purchasing new appliances, look for the EnergyGuide label which shows consumption in terms of kWh per year. Additionally, look for the Energy Star rating.

When purchasing a green home, not only are you helping the environment, but you have the ability to take advantage of energy-efficient mortgages.

1. Energy-efficient homes and energy efficient mortgages – Check out “Financing Energy Efficiency: An EEM Handbook” by Randy Martin. The book discusses what energy efficient mortgages are (loans with relaxed credit standards and favorable interest rates for houses meeting prescribed energy standards) and FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage requirements. http://www.resnet.us/ratings/overview/default.htm

2. Residential Energy Services Network RESNET is one of the principal groups of green housing-minded practitioners, lenders, builders, etc. The group is guided by a committee of mortgage lenders offering energy-efficient mortgages. http://www.resnet.us/about/resnet.htm

3. EPA Energy Star – Existing homes EPA’s Energy Star Program is used by lenders as the standard of determining energy efficiency. Borrowers whose houses meet the standard qualify for the favorable terms of energy-efficient mortgages. EPA’s existing-home site contains information on the top energy saving improvements and how to save money by using energy-efficient improvements as part of the remodeling process. http://www.energystar.gov/

4. EPA Energy Star – New Homes – EPA provides information on its Energy Star Program as it applies to the new-home market. Website features resources on finding a new-home builder, lender, energy-use rater, and utility programs that promote energy efficiency. http://www.energystar.gov/

5. National Energy Raters Association – NERA is an association of professionals who rate and verify home energy efficiency and consult with practitioners, lenders, buyers, sellers and others on improving home efficiency. http://www.energyraters.org/

Tips taken with permission from the National Association of REALTORS®

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Tips to Save Energy Today

Easy Low-Cost and No-Cost ways to save energy

1) Install a programmable thermostat to keep your house comfortably warm in the winter and comfortably cool in the summer.
2) Use compact flourescent light bulbs with the ENERGY STAR label.
3) Air dry dishes instead of using your diswasher’s drying cycle.
4) Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
5) Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use (TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.)
6) Lower the themostat on your hot water heater to 120F.
7) Take short showers instead of baths.
8) Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
9) Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gasoline.
10) Look for the ENERGY STAR label on home appliances and products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the US Department of Energy and the Envirnomental Protection Agency.

Visit www.energysavers.gov for more energy-saving ideas.

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