Life Without Fossil Fuels – This is what it looks like

In Florida no less. I could hype this piece up, but why? They do such a good job. The place even has its own website.

Home

So here is one version of the story.

https://www.planetizen.com/news/2018/01/96772-residents-move-americas-first-solar-powered-town

Residents Move Into America’s First Solar Powered Town

Residents will live in solar powered homes and ride around the community in self-driving, solar-powered shuttles. Babcock Ranch outside of Fort Myers, Florida, has been in the making since 2005. A city of 50,000 is forecast.
January 18, 2018, 1pm PST | Irvin Dawid

“Families are starting to move into what is being called America’s first solar-powered town,” announces John Dickerson for CBS This Morning on Jan. 16. “Babcock Ranch, about half an hour northeast of Fort Myers, Florida, is supposed to produce more energy than it consumes once it’s finished.”

Developer Syd Kitson is building 20,000 homes for a projected 50,000 people, states Dickerson in the newscast video accompanying the article.

There are more than 300,000 solar panels spread across 440 acres there, producing enough electricity not only for the town, but also the surrounding areas, reports CBS News’ Manuel Bojorquez.

One critical energy element lacking in the solar-powered community will be adequate energy storage to allow the city to be truly self-powered:

The town doesn’t run on solar power all the time. At night, when the sun is down, it has to draw from the traditional electrical grid. Kitson says the technology for storing all that surplus energy the solar cells generate during the day is still too costly.

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Go There. I mean literally go there if you can. If not go there and read. More next week.

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UIS Has A New Student Union – It is Green as all get out

I am a graduate of Sangamon State University. What is now University of Illinois Springfield. They just build a Student Union and I am so proud of it. It could be LEED certified and it is student centered. Our Student Union was in a temporary building 0n the temporary campus “down the hill”. This is just so cool.

Strategic Design of the UIS Student Union

This is the part I like:

Environmentally Excellent

UIS is seeking a LEED Gold certificate (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council), both for the sake of the environment and in order to take advantage of energy saving measures. For this reason, the building will have a green, or “living,” roof with vegetation and a growing medium over a sloped membrane. This roof will provide insulation, help to lower air temperatures, and last much longer than other roofs—50 to 60 years rather than the 20 to 30 years most roofs last. The vegetation will most likely include wildflowers that will change throughout the growing season, adding to the building’s beauty.

To reduce storm runoff and eliminate water irrigation, the Student Union will have a rainwater reclamation system that takes advantage of the roof’s slope. Also in consideration of LEED approvals, lighting will be designed to meet the USGBC’s very stringent requirements.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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800,000 Brits Get Solar Panels – Come on USA wake up

Let me say right off the bat that there is a “down side” to this program in that ownership is never transferred to the tenants. In other words, in most leasing arrangements after a number of years the tenants take ownership of the solar panels. Under this program it appears that the “leasing arrangement” lasts forever. Still I would definitely participate if given the opportunity. The Dutch are really smart folks.

Press Release: Foreign investment to help tenants save up to £192M a year in energy bills

2nd September 2017

  • Department for International Trade helps secure £160 million of capital expenditure into UK renewable energy backed by Dutch investors
  • Investment will unlock £1 billion solar panel installation programme that will result in annual energy savings of up to £192m for 800,000 households

International Trade Minister Greg Hands today welcomed £160 million of capital expenditure into UK renewable energy backed by Dutch investors, the first step in a £1 billion programme to give over 800,000 poorer households access to cheap solar electricity.

The investment from Maas Capital (part of the ABN AMRO Bank), secured thanks to Department for International Trade (DIT) support, will help fund solar panels from UK firm Solarplicity to produce electricity for affordable housing across England and Wales.

The scheme will see Solarplicity partner with social housing providers to install panels on their housing stock, creating a Community Energy Scheme where tenants benefit from long-term guaranteed discounts on their bills. Around 100,000 households will receive panels in the next 18 months, and 800,000 in the next five years.

The panels will be free to social housing tenants, reducing their energy bills by an average of £240 a year, saving up to £192 million in total, with 100% renewable electricity.

The deal will also create over 1,000 new jobs to install and maintain the panels. Many of these jobs will go to veterans from the armed forces, as Solarplicity helps re-train them into new maintenance careers.

Speaking from a social housing development in Ealing, West London, where new solar panels are being installed, Minister Hands said:

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Syracuse Goes Green – Grows a shopping center out of a brownfield

This was sent to me by the Destiny USA management. I agreed to run it because they seem to have done a good job. CES can not endorse comercial endeavors nor should this be considered a commercial advertisement as we have received no money to perform this task. When folks do good for the planet we reserve the right to talk about it.

http://www.destinyusa.com/green

History of Destiny USA

 

Carousel Center opened its doors on October 15, 1990 after several years of land redevelopment and renovation on the shores of Onondaga Lake in Syracuse, NY. The super-regional shopping center was developed on a former Brownfield site; one so ravaged by environmental negligence that the New York Times[m1]   called it “a kind of monument to 20th century environmental arrogance, its future written off by government and business alike.”

Robert Congel and Pyramid Management Group welcomed the responsibility of this cleanup after drawing up plans to build a new shopping center in Syracuse. Originally, plans were created for a different location but Mr. Congel redirected his attention to “Oil City.” It was an opportunity to cleanup the lakefront disaster and make it the thriving economic engine that it is today.

Destiny USA is continuing to build upon Mr. Congel’s history of projects that improve Syracuse environmentally. This project is taking a path of leadership in the commercial retail industry by cooperating with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC, USGBC on Destiny USA)[m2]   to get its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) for Core and Shell certification. After meticulous work, the USGBC deemed the 1.3 million square foot Core & Shell expansion its LEED® Gold Certification on February 6, 20

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Utilities In The United States Still Battle Solar After 50 Years – When will they give up

The coal companies and the utility companies in this country are morally repugnant and ecologically a disaster.

http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Solar-energy-is-ready-the-U-S-isn-t-3988796.php

Solar energy is ready, the U.S. isn’t

By Ken Wells
Published 5:07 p.m., Sunday, October 28, 2012

Clean energy has become a dirty word in presidential politics.

In their second debate, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama each tried to outdo the other’s love of fossil fuels: Obama extolling his record on oil and natural gas production, Romney vowing to take “advantage of the oil and coal we have here.” The Republican candidate has ridiculed the administration’s $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra, the bankrupt solar panel maker, and accused Obama of living “in an imaginary world where government-subsidized windmills and solar panels could power the economy.”

The candidates’ coolness to renewable energy comes at a time when the domestic supply of traditional energy sources, such as oil and natural gas, is at an all-time high. And yet this failure to make the promise of renewables a keynote in the debate is a huge missed opportunity. In particular, it ignores the dramatic reduction in the cost of photovoltaic solar power worldwide and the considerable benefits to U.S. consumers and the environment.

Political roadblocks

The untold story of this campaign is that what killed Solyndra may turn out to be a boon for the nation. “Economically and technologically, the game is over,” said Bill Powers, a San Diego engineer and board member of Solar Done Right, a group that proselytizes for rooftop solar power. “The hang-ups in the U.S. are strictly political.”

Over the past five years the price of photovoltaic panels has plummeted 75 percent, due largely to a glut of Chinese-made panels. The fall in prices rendered technically advanced photovoltaic panels, like those produced by Solyndra and other U.S. companies, too expensive to compete.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Building A Cob House – It is not what you think

When I first saw the headline of this next site, I thought: can this be? I had heard of actual corn cob houses in rural America. They are basically slatted walls filled in with corn cobs and then finished inside and out. They are sort of a variation of hay bale houses. But this is way different.

http://www.livingoffgrid.org/building-a-cob-house/

Building a Cob House

By Off Grid Ebert

In a time in which we are increasingly hearing scary statistics about the fate of our planet, the way forward in the field of sustainable, green building may just be to go backward.  This is certainly the case for people demonstrating a growing interest in building earthen homes and structures using an ancient method known as cobwork or cobbing.  Cobbing, believed to have originated in the Maghreb as early as the 11th century, spread into wide usage across many parts of the rest of Europe as the main building style for homes.  The name of this style of building comes from the word cob, which is the name of the building material itself, formed of a mixture of earth (such as clay, sand, and other soil), straw, and water.  Despite what the materials may imply, this substance, when dried, is fireproof.  It is also inexpensive, and naturally cool in the summer heat and relatively easy to heat in the winter.

Many homes built of this material centuries ago still stand and remain in use.  Pictured here to the left is a cob house in England, believed to have been built in the late 1700s. (Photo by Tim Green, http://www.flickr.com/photos/atoach/4927564858/) These homes typically have thatched roofs, while small but efficient fireplaces with chimneys provide warmth when the weather is cold.

The appearance and texture of cob varies from region to region, depending on the available natural resources and their characteristics.  As such, cob is one of the most versatile building materials on earth.  It can be molded and shaped into whatever form is framed by the builder.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Residential Energy Services – The Green Home way

This site offers a lot of features. Most of the cover page is one of those fancy slick every changing happy pictures type power point presentations so I will spare you that, but they have a lot of really useful information so:

http://www.greenhomesamerica.com/

Save money and live more comfortably by increasing the energy efficiency of your home.

We make improvements to your entire home so you can:

  • Reduce your energy bills
  • Increase the comfort of your home
  • Breathe healthier air indoors
  • Help the environment!

Learn how we did it for 10,000 other families

Cash Incentives Available

We assist with all paperwork and help identify all applicable rebates

Learn more about government incentives

One Call… We Do It All!

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More next week.

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Residential Energy Services – This Resnet site is pretty cool

Sorry I had to put this website up piece meal, but it is so photo and graphic intensive that all I could manage is bits and pieces. As with all the posts this week I can not verify the veracity of these folks but they do seem comprehensive and have the customers best interests at heart.

 

http://www.resnet.us/

RESNET professionals have
specialized energy efficiency training. 

RESNET: A name you can trust!

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Call: 760-806-3448

Looking for a: 

RESNET professionals have
specialized energy efficiency training. 

 

ENERGY AUDITS & RATINGS
  • Find Raters and Auditors
  • » Search for Certified Energy Raters and Auditors

 

ENERGY EFFICIENT BUILDING & RETROFITS
  • Find Contractors and Builders
  • » Search for ENERGYSMART Contractors & Builders

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Sorry I could not capture the last 2 videos. You will just have to go to the site and watch them.

Why Should I Have My Home Rated? 

Watch Now

Why Hire EnergySmart Contractors?

 

Why Hire a Certified Rater?

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More tomorrow.

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Beautiful Energy Efficiency – Most housing designs include solar

All these new builds include some form of solar planning. Either in orientation, or window protection, or solar electric generation, the sun is never far from these planners minds.

http://www.hgtvpro.com/hpro/green_building/article/0,3142,HPRO_27916_6024083,00.html

Five Models of Energy Efficiency: A Guide to Beautiful, Energy-Efficient Homes

Five US builders are being honored for their exceptional achievements in high performance building at the second annual BASF Builders Challenge Awards.

Led by the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), the Builders Challenge is working with homebuilders across America to build a new generation of high-performance homes, working toward the ultimate goal of providing cost-effective, net-zero energy homes by 2030 for all Americans.

To qualify for the Builders Challenge, homes must meet at least a 70 on the EnergySmart Home Scale (E-Scale) — which means they must use at least 30 percent less energy than a typical new home built to code.

2010 BUILDERS CHALLENGE AWARDEES
Colorado Builder’s Net-Zero-Energy House Costs Just 7% to 8% More

Ecofutures Building Inc. developed four certified Builders Challenge homes (two with minus-three HERS ratings). These net-zero-energy measures represented only 7% to 8% of the total building cost.

See how they did it so cost-effectively >>

Treating the Home as a Whole System

By treating houses as a complete system, David Weekley Homes qualified 280 homes for the Builders Challenge with HERS scores averaging 67. The homes ranged from 1,500 to 5,500 square feet.

Get better results by treating the house as a whole system >>

College Students’ Habitat for Humanity Home

Yavapai College students built a Habitat for Humanity house that achieved the remarkably low HERS score of minus-three. Their 1,207-square-foot home cost only $92 per sq. ft. cost to build.

Learn how the students got it done >>

Homebuilder Adds Net Zero Energy Upgrade Package

Artistic Homes of Albuquerque offers a net-zero-energy upgrade option on all their homes. They’ve completed and sold 11 true net-zero-energy homes ranging from 1,305 to 2,905 square feet and costing between $160,000 and $300,000.

Find out about the upgrade option >>

Builder Promises Zero Energy Bill for Five Years

Tim O’Brien, a fanatic about eliminating air infiltration, actually got $400 back from the utility the first month after construction was finished. He guarantees a zero energy cost for the first 5 years on his home.

See what makes this builder so confident >>

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More next week.

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Beautiful Energy Conservation – This Company, Master Remodelers, is very nice

Look it is summer. It is 95 degrees out. I am a sailor in a calm. So yes I am kinda mailing this in. But in my defense this stuff has really turned interesting. So here is another installation of beautiful energy conservation.

http://www.masterremodelersinc.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=58&Itemid=62

Sustainability

Master Remodelers is committed to using “green” building science to maximize your energy savings and comfort and your home’s durability. Our green home remodeling efforts in Pittsburgh are on the forefront of our nation’s initiative to address climate change and lessen our dependence on foreign sources of energy. We will show you how your home remodeling project or home addition can be beautiful, energy efficient and a smart investment. That’s why we proudly say that we’re about “Advancing the Art and Science of Living.” 

Take a look at our 2010 award-winning kitchen as an example and our blog on the subject for more examples of green home remodeling in Pittsburgh.

OUR CREDENTIALS

We are one of only a handful of home remodeling contractors in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania dual-certified to deliver whole house energy savings for your remodel.

YOUR BENEFITS

home energy audit shows air leaks

While your home remodeling can include new, renewable building materials that are beautiful, healthier and sustainable, our main focus is on energy conservation. This is best determined by a home energy audit. Done right, going green has many benefits:  much lower utility bills, lower mortgage rates, higher resale value… and you’ll enjoy a healthier home for you and your family. Learn more at HomeEnergy.org

(right: Our infrared camera sees leaks that you can’t)

WHAT SHADE OF GREEN?

energy_audits

In the home remodeling Design and Planning process you make decisions about how green you want to go.  “Lite green” home remodeling could mean simply better insulation and doors and windows.  Or low flow showerheads and strategically planted shade trees. Maybe add bamboo floors, recycled-content counter tops, and low VOC paint. “Deep green” could mean solar, a geothermal heat pump or complete energy independence.

Home energy audits

A great place to start your decision-making is with a home energy audit to determine your home’s current energy efficiency.  We offer three different levels of audits plus other ancillary tests to choose from. For most homes, the greatest energy leaks are in floors, walls and ceilings.  Leaky ductwork follows, and then heating and cooling systems.

FINANCIAL INCENTIVES

Today there are many benefits and incentives for you to go green.  Ask us about low interest loans, grants, tax credits and rebates, plus monthly utility savings.

Master_Remodelers_DifferenceCall 412-341-6585 today to set up an appointment to discuss green remodeling for your home. Or email us your questions.

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More tomorrow.

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