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home efficiency


The Coolest, Interactive Net-Zero Home Guide Makes Green Fun

March 22, 2015 by Andre Bourque

Net-Zero Homes

A zero-energy building, also known as a zero net energy building, or net zero building, is a building with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site.[read more]

Is Home Efficiency Financing About to Eclipse the Solar Financing Market?

February 27, 2015 by Katherine Tweed

Property-assessed clean energy (PACE) loans for homes rebounded in a very big way last year. PACE looks to continue to gain steam in the coming year, but it is being joined by other investment vehicles bringing new life to residential energy efficiency.[read more]

Has Consumer Electronics Energy Use Finally Peaked?

June 28, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

The Consumer Electronics Association just issued its latest report on the amount of electricity used by consumer electronics and it’s finally begun to come down. However, the total is still enormous, equal to the output of more than 50 large power plants and costing consumers about $20 billion annually.[read more]

Why Isn't America Doing More to Reinvigorate Housing By Supporting Energy & Location Efficient New Homes?

June 19, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

A recent Wall Street Journal article points out just how surprisingly weak the market for new homes is: America built less than half as many new homes between 2009 and 2013 as we did in the decade 1992 to 2002, before the housing bubble and its collapse.[read more]

How Much Did Nest Labs Save Utilities Last Summer?

May 24, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

Nest and Energy Savings

Last spring, Nest unveiled its version of residential demand response known as Rush Hour Rewards. The offering was picked up by various big-name utilities. The results of that first year are in, and the programs are generally successful, but do not blow the competition out of the water.[read more]

After Conflicts With Mortgage Lenders, California Restarts Residential PACE

March 29, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

After more than three years of conflict between large mortgage lenders and efficiency advocates, California is announcing that homeowners will soon be eligible for property-assessed clean energy (PACE) loans through the CaliforniaFIRST program.[read more]

Historic Agreement to Slash Energy Use by Set-Top Boxes Will Save $1 Billion Annually

December 25, 2013 by NRDC Switchboard

Energy Savings

Under a historic agreement announced recently, the electricity used by the more than 230 million set-top boxes installed in America’s homes by your cable, satellite, or telephone company will be slashed by 10 to 45 percent, depending on the model, and save consumers $1 billion annually.[read more]

This Chart Shows How Vulnerable Inefficient Buildings Are in the Winter

December 22, 2013 by Stephen Lacey

Winter Vulnerability

While much of America's building stock is still a black box for energy use, this year has been an important one for transparency in the built environment. As leading virtual auditing companies have expanded their reach, they have uncovered trends in near-real time.[read more]

Dogged by Slow Uptake, UK Attempts to Streamline Home Efficiency Program

December 7, 2013 by Katherine Tweed

The United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change says it will make revisions to its Green Deal program, which has not had as much uptake in its first year as expected. It will make the Green Deal easier for consumers and the companies that operate in the market.[read more]

New Evidence that More Efficient Houses are More Valuable Houses

December 3, 2013 by NRDC Switchboard

When major insurers offer discounts for lower risk customers, it's likely based on reliable evidence across a large population. Think lower car insurance rates for drivers with no speeding tickets. Discounts on life insurance for non-smokers.[read more]

4 Ways You Can Save Money & the Planet at the Same Time

November 30, 2013 by Jacob Sandry

Saving Money and the Planet

The environmental movement has done a powerful job of bringing waste and electricity use to the forefront of public consciousness over the past few decades. Here are four new opportunities exist to take powerful action right now and make or save money in the process.[read more]

The Value of a Well Insulated House

November 29, 2013 by Lindsay Wilson

Home Insulation

The better insulated and air tight your home is the more comfort you get from each unit of heat. In fact homes can even be so well insulated and air tight that they only need the sun, bodies, appliances and some heat recovery to stay comfortable. These homes are called passive houses.[read more]

What Are the Sources of Home Heat Loss?

November 27, 2013 by Lindsay Wilson

Home Heat Loss

Because a house remains roughly the same temperature over the course of a year its heat gains are equal to its heat losses. We can thank the first law of thermodynamics for this. Heat gains come from heating systems, the sun’s warmth and internal gains from things like appliances and body heat.[read more]

What is the Average Heating Bill?

November 26, 2013 by Lindsay Wilson

Home Fuel Bills

Heating bills vary greatly depending on house size, climate, insulation, fuel choice and fuel prices. But it is easy enough to find some averages. In the winter of 2012/13 the average American home using natural gas spent $598 on fuel over the heating period.[read more]

How Much Fuel Does Home Heating Use?

November 25, 2013 by Lindsay Wilson

Fuel and Home Heating

Do you know how much energy a home uses for heating? Most people have a rough idea of what they spend, but few understand how much energy they use. Although heating system efficiency also plays a role, the main drivers of energy use are climate, quality of insulation and house size.[read more]