lighting


I agreed to publish this here because it is such a different perspective then the one I have or CES has. We tend to blame builders for not just serving up top notch energy efficient residences. Then there is the issue of retrofitting. As always this is no endorsement of Ryan or his Real Estate firm. Believe me I have no intention of buying a home in Alaska.

 

Ryan Tollefsen REALTOR®
Unity Home Group at Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group
101 W. Benson Blvd. Suite 101
Anchorage, AK 99503

Check out my all new Great Alaskan Getaway Guide

http://www.constructiondive.com/news/more-buyers-want-green-homes-real-estate-agents-say/439944/

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Now, a “green home” really isn’t all that green when observed on its own, but the fact
remains that most of new construction and existing homes are going to be detached
single-family residences. This means that we need to do the best we can with the hand we
have been dealt, and that would suggest that incremental improvements across the board
may be the best option in terms of reducing waste. Recent trends in US real estate have
affected what buyers are looking for in some positive ways, but there are still far too few
green homes available for buyers who want this option.!That makes it a frustrating search
for potential green home buyers, and discourages them from truly setting their sites on a
home that works for them. Additionally, because they aren’t making their voices heard,
many builders are not working to make homes that meet green specications (beyond the
bare minimum). They don’t realize the level of demand that would be there, if buyers felt
they would have the option.
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More Buyers Should Push for Green Homes
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There’s really one way to remedy the issue: buyers who want green homes should push
for them across as many channels as they can. If more buyers continue to ask for green
homes, more builders will produce these homes out of necessity. But buyers need to be
the catalysts in both demand and advocacy aimed toward other potential green buyers.
More of them want green homes, but they back down when they see these homes aren’t
available. Builders and sellers both need to know the value of creating these kinds of
homes or making changes to existing homes, so buyers will be more likely to purchase
those homes instead of other options. This might mean more negotiations with sellers and builders, and it will likely come at an increased cost — costs that will likely be recouped over time, but another upfront cost nonetheless.
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What are Buyers Looking For?
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When the average buyer!wants a green home, they don’t necessarily require one that’s
completely off grid. Some buyers will seek these out, but most will be looking for energy
efifciency, sustainable materials, and a smaller carbon footprint than what would be seen
with a standard house. In many cases, that’s enough to entice buyers to make a purchase,
and to keep them happy with the home they have selected. It also depends on the area of the country and the local market, because some buyers want and need different options due to weather or other factors.
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More Demand Will Require an Increase in Supply
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The more buyers start asking for green homes, the more likely it is that builders will create them. Sellers will also start making changes to the homes they are putting on the market, in order to entice buyers to come see their home instead of a different one. That’s an important consideration, too, since sellers may need to retrofit their homes in some ways and add options that they would not have chosen to put in if they were remaining in the house. Some green living changes can be expensive, but these changes don’t always have to be costly. There are lower priced options, as well.
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Trends are Moving in the Right Direction, at Least
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Even though there are still far too few green homes, and even though buyers aren’t making their voices heard as loudly as they could, the trend of green living is still going in the right direction. More buyers see the value of it, and more builders and sellers are starting to make changes in that direction. There is still a long way to go before energy efficiency and reducing waste becomes the standard for new homes and improved existing homes, but a larger pool of buyers demanding these features can help move the needle bit by bit.

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Go to the web links and read. More next week.

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I was going to write about Germany making 85 percent of its power with renewables on a particular day. As fun as that is this is better. Egypt is going to invest billions of dollars in solar (and wind?). That is so exciting. I hope the rest of the countries of the Middle East follow suit.

http://www.upi.com/Energy-News/2017/05/15/Egypt-looks-to-the-future-with-renewable-energy-plan/3111494858225/

 

Egypt looks to the future with renewable energy plan

By Ahmed Megahid, The Arab Weekly   |   May 15, 2017 at 10:33 AM

CAIRO, May 15 (UPI) — The vista in the central province of Minya is as empty as far as the eye can see except for rows and rows of solar panels and the blue sky above.

The panels are helping Amr al-Saad’s 8-month-old power sta­tion address the worsening issue of brownouts and blackouts in the area.

“A few years ago, power supply was intermittent, which made the life of the residents of the province very tough,” he said. “That is why I decided to establish my project where it is most needed.”

After generating electricity, Saad’s station feeds it into the na­tional grid where it is used to power houses, farms and workshops in Minya’s villages.

Saad’s project, which cost $100,000 and produces 650 kilo­watts of electricity each month, is part of a national drive to reduce Egypt’s dependence on fossil fuels by shifting to renewable energy. Egypt plans to produce 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2022 and 37 percent by 2035. It is an ambitious plan given that just 3 percent of electricity produced annually in Egypt today is from renewable sources.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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To Not talk about how disastrous Trump’s Presidency will be for the environment and the energy industry I decided to return to my roots in the residential market. Todays article is a bit old but its message is timeless. We have been concentrating on single devices like furnaces, refrigerators, windows seen as a whole instead of a holistic approach to a house.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/the-real-problem-with-energy-efficiency

We’re Doing Residential Energy Efficiency All Wrong

Utilities are now spending nearly $7 billion a year on energy-efficiency programs. It seems we have little to show for it aside from expensive consultants who will model any results you would like.

These programs tend to focus their marketing on the energy savings or money savings from the projects. Consumers don’t care. If they did, we would see geometric growth instead of a resounding “meh.”

Others focus on better financing products, slicker sales pitches, faster energy audits, higher rebates or any of a myriad of other things.

In the residential sector, none of these are the problem. The lack of sales is the problem.

Projects are not being sold and implemented in substantial numbers. We need to slow it down, build relationships with consumers and educate them, learn and think systemically about the problems they have, and arrive at solutions that fit homeowner budgets.

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Go there and read alot. It is a long article. More next week.

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I don’t care if you are a Red State or a Blue State. Who could be opposed to something like this?

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/New-York-to-Build-Worlds-Most-Powerful-Smart-Energy-Lab

New York to Build World’s Most Powerful Smart Energy Lab

Superior computing power will help drive New York’s REV.

Katherine Tweed
March 26, 2015

The New York Power Authority and SUNY Polytechnic Institute will partner to build the world’s largest research and development facility focused on energy technology innovation.

New York State has goals of eliminating electricity peaks, enabling distributed energy resources and incorporating more large-scale renewables as part of its Reforming the Energy Vision proposal.

The yet-to-be-built facility, the Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy (AGILe), will allow the New York Power Authority, distribution utilities and private companies to test everything from sensors on the grid and automation technology to novel power electronics and cybersecurity across the entire power grid.

“This is new and innovative and will allow New York state to lead the country in energy development, smart grid and other technologies and provide economic benefit to the state,”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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When I first saw this I thought it was from The Onion. But this for real.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/532896/discarded-laptop-batteries-keep-the-lights-on/

Discarded Laptop Batteries Keep the Lights On

Millions of batteries discarded with computers have more than enough life to power home lighting for one year, researchers in India say.

Many of the estimated 50 million lithium-ion laptop batteries discarded every year could provide electricity storage sufficient to light homes in poor countries, researchers at IBM say.

In work being aired this week at a conference in San Jose, researchers at IBM Research India in Bangalore found that at least 70 percent of all discarded batteries have enough life left to power an LED light at least four hours a day for a year.

While it’s possible to combine LED lights with solar panels and rechargeable batteries (see “Innovators Under 35: Evans Wadongo”), using discarded batteries could make the approach far cheaper.

“The most costly component in these systems is often the battery,” says Vikas Chandan, a research scientist at the lab’s Smarter Energy Group, who led the project. “In this case, the most expensive part of your storage solution is coming from trash.”

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Go there and read more. More next week.

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I mean really if they are going to drop their insistence on solar panel installations as part of a retrofit then why keep the name? Are they now a software company or are they now a software and then install whatever company? Good questions with no answers. It would be like Tide if it were to stop making soap and started making dishwashers. Would they keep the name and why?

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/a-peak-at-solarcitys-new-energy-efficiency-software?

Has SolarCity Created the Amazon 1-Click for Energy Efficiency?

 

“We believe SolarCity has the best database of residential energy use of anyone in the world.”

 

Stephen Lacey: June 28, 2013

 

After SolarCity shifted its energy efficiency strategy and pulled back from doing residential retrofits in-house, the solar services behemoth is moving straight into intelligent efficiency.

 

GTM’s Eric Wesoff recently reported on SolarCity’s evolving business plan and the resulting changes that company executives say will scale residential efficiency in the same way solar services have scaled residential solar.

 

But solar is very different from efficiency. For the most part, solar is very standardized and installations are uniform from home to home. Efficiency retrofits encompass an extraordinarily broad category of activities and skills. Incentives are also quite different for efficiency, making it more complicated from a financial perspective. That’s why only a handful of U.S. solar contractors have offered efficiency as an in-house service.

 

SolarCity decided that doing the retrofit work itself was not the best way to scale. Instead, it has turned from manpower to the power of big data.

 

The secret sauce is a “simulation engine” that shows homeowners exactly how much they’re spending on energy everywhere in their house. The initial database was created using information from 16,000 home energy audits performed over the last five years. It relies on an algorithm developed at the Department of Energy that crunches 100 million calculations per home for each individual energy efficiency audit (which is still performed by SolarCity when installing solar).

 

“The simulation software looks at every component in a home in relation to one another,” said SolarCity COO Peter Rive. “Every ten minutes, it thinks about what one thing is doing and about its effect on the rest of the systems within the home.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Other things have not changed. I mean we are still burning coal to fuel electric generators, 30 years after we should have stopped. We still flirt with the idea of Nuclear Powered power plants. But here is part of the Georgia Code, a State not known for anything progressive.

http://www.southface.org/learning-center/library/res-code-faq#24

22.    What is the difference between a mass wall and a basement wall, and what are the insulation requirements for both?

A mass wall is a heavy wall that is more than half above grade wall and is constructed of a fairly massive material (e.g., concrete, block, insulated concrete forms, masonry cavity, non-veneered brick , adobe, compressed block, rammed earth, and solid logs). A basement wall is a wall that is more than half below grade and encloses conditioned space. Insulation requirements for basement walls and mass walls depend on the location of the insulation and the type of insulation (whether it is continuous or insulation installed in a cavity). Requirements also vary by climate zone. Below is a table detailing the insulation requirements in the energy code.

Wall Type Insulation Location and Type Climate Zone 4 Climate Zone 3 Climate Zone 2
Basement Wall Interior – Continuous R-10 R-5 R-0
Basement Wall Interior – Cavity R-13 R-13 R-13
Mass Wall Interior-Cavity R-13 R-13 R-13
Mass Wall Exterior or Integral- Continuous R-5 R-5 R-4
Mass Wall Interior – Continuous R-10 R-8 R-6

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If you are a glutton for punishment, go there and read. More next week.

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Carol Kneedler, who runs CES’ website, forwarded this to me and I thought it was a good way to plug her business. Thanks Carol for all you do.

  • O3 Internet Consulting

    Owner · Jul 2007 to present
    I create websites that are beautiful, practical and functional. In short, they work.

http://ksmu.org/article/small-ozarks-farm-provides-innovative-example-sustainable-living-50451#.UNoqJWCh7_Y.facebook

Small Ozarks Farm Provides Innovative Example For Sustainable Living

 Article | | By Shane Franklin

One farm in the Ozarks is the location of a series of unique experiments in sustainable living.  If these experiments prove successful, it would greatly affect the future of sustainable technologies and how people think about building their homes. KSMU’s Shane Franklin had the opportunity to tour the farm, and has this story.

Rockspan Farm, the home of Dan and Margy Chiles, is unique in so many ways. They wanted to build a farm that could be an example to others, and a test lab for experimental technologies they’ve been personally developing over the years.

“We are trying a number of new technologies here to make houses more efficient and to make a livable space without having to burn a lot of coal.

 

http://www.danchiles.macmate.me/rockspan/RockSpan/Home.html

RockSpan maps and overview

RockSpan is the name for our 12 acre farm and house in western Greene County, Missouri.

 

The project is the West end of Division street, 11 miles from Springfield, Missouri.   The colorful plan below shows the family farm: approximately 227 acres outlined in red with a possible land use plan.  Our 12 acres are inside the larger farm.

 

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Go there, read and see all the pretty pictures. More tomorrow.

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I attended a workshop on being handicapped at the University of Wisconsin, Madcity. It was maybe one of the most amazing things I have ever done. They let you experience 4 common handicaps. They also supplied a fifth experience, that of being being a small child and then insisted that we move around the campus or in the foyer of the students union a little. Everyone fought over the 3 or 4 wheelchairs that they had. I picked being “blind” instead, so they blindfolded me and gave me a stick. They led me around for a little bit and said, “lets go outside”! I mean it was amazing, the sounds and the smells and stuff. But the hardest part was for me to stop putting my hand out in front of myself. So anyway, to be “brand fair”, we will do a couple of days on home elevators. Plus some other handicapped stuff for the home.

 

http://www.garaventalift.com/en/products/home_elevators.html?gclid=COWe1Lmci7MCFdEWMgodawoAjg

In the past elevators in the home were, for the most part, only obtained by the extremely wealthy: they were more of a luxury item than an accessibility need. However, now with advancements in technology, home elevators have become ideal for accessibility, convenience, and adding unique value.

As we get older, arranging our home to suite our needs becomes more difficult. Not only because of the extra work involved, but also because adjusting to the changes that aging brings can feel uncomfortable. Home elevators allow people the ability to comfortably age in place. If an elevator is already in our home, then by the time it becomes a necessity we are already accustomed to it. Familiar surroundings are increasingly important as we enter our tender years, as we can begin to rely on more of our long term memories. Similarly, moving to a home that is more accessible can be inconvenient and disorienting. Including a home elevator in our building plans makes for a much more convenient long term solution.

Having a home elevator also makes moving items safer and more convenient. Instead of carrying a heavy or awkward load up the stairs, an elevator can be used. In turn the chances of injury are lessened, as well as the time it takes.

Building vertically as opposed to expanding a single level home can also be more cost effective. Land values are going up, making a single level expansion more expensive than adding a floor onto a home. However, with expanding vertically we have to take into account our possible accessibility needs in the future. A home elevator is a beneficial solution because it adds uniqueness and value to your home while providing all of the additional benefits of comfort, ease and convenience.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Yes I know there are many things that are wrong about Las Vegas. People shouldn’t even be there in the first place. The rape of the river that no longer reaches the sea. The rape of the pristine desert and the death of many Native Americans. I lived there for a year and there is also the cheesy nature of the culture. But when they do something right, you got to give them credit.

http://www.homeenergy.org/show/article/id/1811/viewFull/

 

Nevada Energy Star Partners Demonstrate Peak Performance (Web Only)

September 01, 2012

Las Vegas may appear balmy and inviting with its sparkling pools and swaying palm trees, but those who live in Neon City know the truth: It’s too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer.

Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of homes that were built during an amazing 50 years of rapid growth in the Southwest do not incorporate modern advances in energy performance to accommodate the wild swings of desert climate. As temperatures climb to 110°F in the summer, many homes leak large amounts of cooled air through gaps in ducts, roofs, windows, and doors. And when the frigid north wind drops the temperature below freezing in the winter, heated air escapes, leaving living rooms and bedrooms uncomfortably cold and drafty. While Las Vegans know their climate, they may not realize that they are paying to heat and cool the great outdoors.

The dramatic temperature shifts in the high-desert climate make Las Vegas an ideal place for homeowners who are looking to make their homes more comfortable and to save substantially on their energy bills. Funded in part by DOE’s Building America program, the Building America Retrofit Alliance is working with the Nevada ENERGY STAR Partners–Green Alliance (NESP–Green Alliance), and with Better Building Performance, a Las Vegas company, to upgrade two typical homes top to bottom. Their goal has been to show homeowners and remodelers how easy and effective energy performance upgrades can be.

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Go there and read. More Tomorrow.

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