‘Home Improvement’ Category
» posted on Thursday, June 16th, 2011 at 11:41 pm by Woody Wilson viewed 50 times
Energy monitoring systems are already a popular fixture in commercial buildings, but they’ve yet to take hold in the multi-family housing market. The reason for this is unclear. However, it’s obvious that this is a missed opportunity.
Energy monitoring systems are an often ignored method for renters to measure and reduce their energy cost and ecological footprint. Renters can instantly tell how much energy they are using by plugging in a simple energy monitoring system. Just having this knowledge is shown to reduce energy use by at least 12%.
Given this backdrop, it’s surprising that more apartments owners don’t promote energy monitoring systems such as Google PowerMeter. It can be a great way to help renters reduce consumption, and for apartment owners to attract the coming wave of tech- and green-savvy renters.
Promoting these tools in apartments is easier than you think. If marketed as an extra amenity, it could serve to attract more occupants. Apartments can use this as a selling point to differentiate them from other, less environmentally conscious, complexes. In the coming age of environmental responsibility and smart energy usage, property owners would be wise to make use of these devices.
For more information on how apartment owners, and renters, can take advantage of energy monitoring visit the Software Advice website. You can view find the full article at: Cut Apartment Energy Costs with Energy Monitoring Systems.
» posted on Saturday, May 21st, 2011 at 10:25 am by Woody Wilson viewed 188 times
Review this very strong video on solar energy from Earth4Energy: Solar Video
This subject is not new. Man has made energy for thousands of years since the first camp fire. Some renewable eco-friendly energy technology is new and becoming very popular around the word.
- DIY Energy Projects
- Solar Photo Voltaic
- Wind Turbine Generator
- Solar Hot Water
- Solar Air Heater
- Geothermal Heat Pump
- Magnetic Generator
- Home Energy Audit
- Solar Installation Course
Cost is a factor and startup costs are lower than ever. Residential Energy Kit is dedicated to presenting Do-it-Yourself (DIY) plans, guides and products to help you go green and save our environment. DIY projects are 1/3rd to 1/10th the investment cost of commercial solutions. For example, a completely solar home commercial cost is $20,000 to $80,000 with a 25 year pay back. DIY can do the same project for $3,000 to $5,000 with a 3 year pay back.
As populations grow and wealth increases, the stress on our planets resources grows too. Now we have to be more conservative and use alternative energy sources. Methods for reducing energy consumptions should be our first effort. Insulate, seal, use energy star products, and many other methods need to be employed. These are detailed in our Articles
Another consideration to saving our environment is to stop using power company energy. Over half of the US electricity comes from coal. Coal and oil usage is extensive around the world. We can make our own energy at home. The energy is free in nature. We just have to harvest this energy with techniques that are more feasible today than ever before. Wind, Solar, Solar Hot Water, Wave, Geo-Thermal and Fuel Cell technologies are readily available and encouraged by governments around the word. Energy Tax Credit Incentives of up to 30% can save you a ton of money. This is Important ~ If you seriously want free energy at home and you are willing to build a device yourself to save investment cost, you need a guide. They are relatively inexpensive. You will find my critical reviews under the Index on our Home page. These new guides have all the development worked out and offer step by step instruction. This will save you both time and money. Usually you can be operational in less than a week. All of these guides are written for the layman without high technical requirements. Material and tools required are common around the house items. The first model that you make is like training. Once you make your first, you can make another bigger and more powerful.
With all these projects you can scale up the size to eliminate most if not all your dependence on the power company (the grid). These guides even show you how to tie into the grid (grid tie) and sell the power company your excess electricity. That’s right. The power company will pay you for power!!. Make power at home with solar or wind to eliminate your power bill. Get our complete guide at Residential Energy Kit
» posted on Thursday, December 30th, 2010 at 11:57 am by Woody Wilson viewed 29 times
Review this very strong video on solar energy from Earth4Energy: Solar Video
By CHRISTY SWIFT
Published: December 27, 2010
SEBRING – Walking into the Million’s pleasant Sebring home all decorated for Christmas, you would never know that it’s almost entirely powered by the sun.
Jerry Million, 87, and his wife Elli, 83, showed off their most recent electric bill: $13.
“Just a little bit of a change,” joked Jerry, who admitted a typical bill in the past ranged from $150-$200 a month.
The Millions have two hot water heating panels and 22 photovoltaic solar panels on the backside of their roof with plans to install 12 more. It’s hard to get a look at them without climbing up on the roof or backing far enough away from the house to see the sloping shingles with discreet, black rectangles attached.
How do solar panels work?
The water heating panels are designed to do just that – heat water for the home. They do not produce electricity. The Millions installed their two hot water panels 15 years ago. “They won the contest 15 years ago for being the most efficient,” said Jerry. “I paid an outrageous price for them – $650,” he said, keeping the jokes going. “It was such a good deal, I think. They pay for themselves every three years.”
The Millions were very impressed with the results from the hot water panels, saying that they never ran out of hot water once and that the temperature of the water was “boiling hot.”
Jerry decided he wanted to go ahead and start installing photovoltaic panels, which are able to convert the sun’s rays into electricity that can be used to power the rest of the home. They had 22 panels installed in June 2009 by a local company known as One Solar.
Photovoltaic solar panels make use of clean, renewable energy from the sun and are connected into the home’s electricity meter. When the panels make electricity, it causes the meter to run backwards and when the household uses electricity, the meter runs forward. At the end of the month, the electric company (in the Million’s case Progress Energy) sends them a bill for the difference. If the home produces more energy than the household uses, the electric company actually purchases that electricity from the homeowner.
The Millions haven’t made any money off their panels yet, but they are expecting to once they get the next 12 panels installed. “General Electric is coming out with new panels with a substantial operating efficiency. Much better than what we have now,” said Jerry, excited to take advantage of the newest technology.
He figures that if he can get a $13 electric bill with 22 older model panels, the 12 new upgraded panels should make a big difference. “Right now we’ve got a big irrigation system because of the two vineyards on the property,” he added, speaking of his 1.5 acres of muscadine grape vines. “You can’t even tell that we’re using big electrical pumps.”
But is the new installation isn’t really about making money from the electric company. Jerry and Elli have their eyes on the future. “My thinking was, quite honestly, we’re getting to run out of oil and it won’t be too many years and then what the heck is mankind going to do?” said Jerry.
A big Warren Buffett fan and stock trader himself, Jerry quoted the legendary investor. “Warren Buffett said one thing: in 20 years the cars coming off the line will be predominantly electric.” Jerry plans to buy an electric car and fuel it from his roof.
Which car is he planning to buy? “He’s studying that,” said Elli.
“I probably at this particular moment, and excuse me for saying it, but the Chinese are out in front,” Jerry admitted. “The Chinese are going to have one according to Buffett that goes 250 miles with no recharge. That gets me over to the V.A. hospital in Bay Pines and gets me back.”
How much did it cost?
The hot water panels cost the Millions $650 fifteen years ago, but the photovoltaics were another story. They had to come up with $37,000 for installation of the 22 panels up front, but have since received a federal rebate for $11,000. The state of Florida owes them another $20,000 rebate, which the Millions have yet to see. If the state comes through, that would put the Millions’ total cost of ownership at $6,000, which means the panels would pay for themselves in two and a half to three years.
The Millions are not pleased about the delay in the rebate payment, but Jerry feels worse for those who had to borrow money in order to go solar. “A lot of people took out a loan with the bank. They haven’t gotten their money yet, but they’ve gotten (to pay) interest on it!”
Retired and relaxing
A retired photographer with the Aviation Section of the U.S. Signal Corps, the direct ancestor of the U.S. Air Force which was in place from 1914 to 1918, Jerry pursued a career in photography and journalism for most of his life. The Miami native met his wife Elli at age 78 through an online computer dating ad.
“He’s the luckiest man in the world!” Elli chimed in.
Elli is currently the second vice president of the Highlands County Democratic Women’s Club and has a background in politics and government. In fact, she was responsible for pioneering volunteerism in the Dade County school system back when volunteers were not allowed in public schools. Her program, which was originally started to help migrant children who were falling through the cracks, was later picked up by the Dade County School Board.
“I’m in the first history book of ‘Women Who Make a Difference’ in Dade County,” Elli admitted.
For now, the couple enjoys making wine and using the electricity that they generate without so much as lifting a finger.
“It makes sense. If that sun is up there and I can go ahead and operate this whole property, everything about it, with the energy that falls on those panels, why not take full advantage of it?” said Jerry.
He predicted that the rest of the world will eventually catch up to them, especially here in Florida where there is plenty of sun 360 days of the year to run a home with rooftop panels.
“We’ve got so much solar,” admitted Elli. “Why not use it?”
» posted on Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 at 10:43 am by Woody Wilson viewed 73 times
Plus, patented software from EcoFactor
A doctor can tell if you’re sick by taking your temperature.
EcoFactor is concocting software that can do the same for your house.
The startup — which has invented a home energy management system that gets sold through utilities and communications carriers — has obtained a patent for calculating the thermal mass of a building. Software derived from the patent crunches historical weather data, data on how much you use your heater and air conditioner, and other factors to diagnose your home and pinpoint any problems.
In a test case in Fort Worth, Texas, for instance, a consumer had purchased an ultra-high efficiency air conditioning system but was still experiencing extraordinarily high bills. The software helped find the problem: crushed ducts and a dryer duct that was venting into the home’s air handler.
“He was losing money every time he turned on the air conditioner,” said co-founder and senior vice president of products Scott Hublou.
In another house, the software detected a clogged furnace filter that boosted HVAC consumption by 8 percent to 9 percent.
Just released from GreenEcoClub the DIY Easy-Energy-Audits. This step-by-step guide will show you how to do energy audit on your home like the pros. Easy-Energy-audits
The company will use the technology to optimize its own services. In a nutshell, EcoFactor links its software-as-a-service to your thermostat and then dynamically adjusts the temperature all day, within comfort parameters set by the homeowner, to save energy. Oncor is currently reselling the service to its customer base in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. EcoFactor claims the system can curb energy consumption by 25 percent to 30 percent; it is particularly effective in muggy areas like the Southeast where air conditioning is a way of life.
But the patent could also conceivably be used to analyze small commercial buildings. Another idea: using the software as a prelude to a full-blown energy audit and retrofit.
“You could quantify the actual savings,” said John Steinberg, CEO and the other co-founder. “It is less labor-intensive than an audit.”
EcoFactor has an number of other patent applications winding their way through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, so expect to see more of these. Disclosure: although many reporters and analysts disdain patents and whine that patents, particularly software patents, stifle innovation, I believe intellectual property remains the bedrock of Silicon Valley.
Patents are “something that we think have absolutely helped us on the funding side,” said Steinberg. “I don’t think there is any question that it is helpful to have a deep and wide patent portfolio.”