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Running a Basically Self-Sufficient Home

Homesteading: a lifestyle of self-sufficiency.... read more

Solar Energy in Cold Weather

Sunlight Solar, a solar installation company, dispels many misconceptions about solar energy in their blog.  One of the most common myths about solar energy is that it doesn't work in cold weather, such as a New England winter. With much of the country bracing themselves for yet another big snowstorm, I thought I'd discuss the reality of solar energy in cold weather.

As it turns out, solar panels can be very effective in a cooler climate. In fact, solar panels can be more efficient in a cold climate than in hotter places with stronger sun, such as Arizona or California. "Solar panels actually work more efficiently in a cooler climate because heat degrades electricity," the Sunlight Solar blog says.... read more

Want to break free? - How going off grid could save more than the planet

Solar Panels

Fed up with increasing electricity bills from utility companies who seem to think they can charge what they like for energy? You’re not alone. With the average electricity bill growing by a whopping 37% over the last few years according to research by the Citizens Advice Bureau reported by The Guardian – and set to rise at up to eight times the rate of earnings – electricity bills seem to be getting more and more shocking by the month.

But what can a householder do? With everything from lighting to phones and kitchen appliances reliant on electricity, this energy is part and parcel of modern day living. But we needn’t go back to medieval lifestyles and stop using it altogether to beat the utility companies (though the companies themselves appear to doing a convincing impression of the evil barons from that era).... read more

Top 4 Most Innovative Green Car Advancements

Green automotive technology is the future. With hybrid and electric optimized vehicles, consumers can get more bang for their buck. The biggest boon is that dependency on gas is lowered, and thanks to steadily climbing gas prices, green cars pay for themselves. It makes plenty of sense that consumers are demanding better fuel economy from their vehicles.

Ford EcoBoost

Companies like Toyota, Elon Musk, Chrysler, Honda and others have responded. For example, Ford has produced an EcoBoost engine family and they're being used in various models. Of particular note is the 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost, amped up with about 310 horsepower. That's not too shabby for a green tech car.... read more

How to Green Your Pool

In recent years, at-home pools have gained popularity; they’ve become more affordable and accessible than ever before and have presented a direct solution for those looking for ways to naturally improve their fitness, rehab certain injuries or treat certain conditions (and, of course, to just have good ol’ fun with friends and family).... read more

How to Plan Your Green Home-Building Project

eco-friendly home

When we decided to make our new home green-friendly, my wife and I were curious whether we'd be able to balance a sustainable building with a visually attractive and cohesive home plan. Although it took navigating through some obstacles, we eventually came up with a plan that featured the perfect fusion of environmental responsibility, resource efficiency and a flat-out good-looking home. We couldn’t be happier.

Green building is a very buzzed-about topic for good reason. As nonrenewable energy sources are depleted and energy costs skyrocket, homeowners pursuing green building are not only thinking for the present, but also for the future. The future of nonrenewable energy sources is bleak, so it’s best to prepare. Building a green home is far from a straightforward task, though, so the tips below are well worth keeping in mind:... read more

Putting Parking Structures to Work With Solar Panels

Solar PanelsThe concept of solar parking structures is so sensible that it's bound to become a widespread phenomenon. At this point solar technology is rapidly improving and becoming integrated in our society quickly. Many companies throughout the US have implemented solar panels in one way or another. These solar panels are most commonly placed on the roofs of buildings, making use of space that is already regularly exposed to sunlight.

In sunny states such as Arizona where covered parking is a necessity, a new trend is catching on. Although it can be quite the investment, many companies and even some schools believe solar power is worth it and have installed panels on their covered parking spaces as well.

... read more

What You Need to Know About Net Metering

net meteringIn today’s age of green initiatives encouraging at-home energy resources, there are many people taking advantage of generating their own electricity through solar power. With these types of self-produced energy, many residential customers are not using the city- and state-provided utilities network. In fact, the energy that they produce at their homes is often funneled back into the power grid where other local customers can use it. This phenomenon has led to the concept of net metering.

Defining Net Metering

Before the advent of net metering, the extra energy produced by solar-powered homes was simply unused, then lost. In order to take advantage of the excess energy produced by solar-powered homes, utility companies in charge of the grid began to credit those producers for adding home-generated energy for their own use and for the use of other customers. This billing and crediting system became known as net metering.

For example, a home with solar panels on the roof may be able to generate more energy during the daytime than the home needs to run electricity lines and appliances. If this solar-powered home is enrolled in net metering, its electricity meter will actually run backward during the hours it is over-producing, thereby creating energy credits. The homeowners can then use these credited hours either during the nighttime when solar energy is inapplicable, or for donation to the electric grid for other customers to use. With this system, energy-producing homeowners are only charged for the energy they consume from the outside grid, also known as their net use.... read more

Lighting up your garden the eco friendly way

Garden

  

The greenest part of your household is your garden, but sometimes this may not be the case, as lighting up your garden in the evening can come with a cost, as it is becoming more and more popular for lights to be installed into features in your garden or just simply to light up an area with a spot light. ... read more