Posts Tagged ‘solar PV’

Home values increase with energy-efficiency and renewables

May 2, 2011

A NY Times article this week pointed to some less than good news for those with equity in their homes:  Home prices fall again.   

But there are ways to increase the value of your home.  Laura Stukel touched on this in her post a couple of weeks ago.  And a study released by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) this week points to solar—in addition to energy efficiency—as boosting home value. 

This is good news, and it reflects the obvious-sounding anecdotes we’ve been hearing for a long time from our customers.

With the benefits aligning (and energy prices rising), the question has increasingly become how can you afford not to make your home more energy-efficient?

Cheers,
Mike

The Dilbertesque view on green building

August 26, 2010

Scott Adam, the creator of Dilbert, has a funny–and all too true at times!–take on green building in an opinion piece in the WSJ.  Energy effiiciency, radiant floors, photovoltaics.  Ah, if only he’d called us first!  (Thanks for the heads up on this piece, Tiger!)

A Customer Discusses Solar PV

August 19, 2010

John Scipione and a customer discuss a recently installed solar PV project in this video.

New York State Fair

August 26, 2009

New York residents, GreenHomes will be in the New York State Fair in Syracuse.  Look for us in the Center of Progress building, Booth 1.  We’ll have folks on hand to talk about energy-efficiency and renewables like solar hot water, solar PV, and geothermal.

Thanks,
Mike

Energy-efficiency: The forgotten sibling of solar and wind energy

June 22, 2009

When people think of using less energy, they often think of solar PV or wind.  In reality, though, those are simply different ways of creating energy, and in this case electricity.  But as we talk about reducing our energy imports, and about plug in electric or hybrid cars, we have to think beyond different ways of producing energy and think about how to use less energy, period.  If we want to move our transportation fleet increasingly toward electric, we’re going to have to use a lot less energy in our homes and commercial buildings.

You’ll hear a lot of buzz about solar, especially solar PV.  And renewable are great—at GreenHomes we even install solar solutions.  But we do always try to educate our customers that it makes more sense to make sure they’re not wasting energy before they worry about generating energy.  We’re in dozens of homes every day.  We know that it’s generally pretty straightforward to save 25% of a home’s energy use.  In fact, we guarantee it. 

If it’s not energy savings but rather carbon savings to reduce climate change that you’re after, the verdict is the same.  McKinsey & Company demonstrate that carbon emissions can be reduced by efficiency measures with a negative cost—in other words a net economic savings.  Thus from an economic perspective we should pursue efficiency—including improving the efficiency of our housing stock—even if climate change were shown to be neglibible.

Wind and PV are sexy.  And you can see them.  Most people won’t see air-sealing, duct-sealing, higher insulation levels, or the difference between advanced windows and windows that are barely legal.  But the eye can mislead you in this case.  Leading with efficiency not only helps you reduce energy use most cost-effectively, but you also get increased comfort and building durability that renewable just can’t provide.  Some areas with PV incentives recognize this and mandate an energy audit before you install PV.  But mandate or not, it’s the smart way to go.  Don’t stop with an audit, though.  Make the recommended improvements.

So go solar if you want.  We love solar.  But start with energy-efficiency first.

Thanks,
Mike


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