energy efficiency - Articles

The Latest Pitch From Your Power Company: Free Nights and Weekends

Getty Images By Jonathan Fahey Electric bills have long been take-it-or-leave-it affairs: Pay one rate for all the power you used the month before, no matter when you used it. But some electric companies want to shake-up that rigid business model. They are increasingly offering plans that sound like come-ons from mobile... Continue Reading »

6 Home Energy-Saving Tips Many Homeowners Don't Think Of

By Steve McLinden You've heard the usual energy-saving advice: Buy only Energy Star-rated appliances, replace incandescent lightbulbs with those curly fluorescents, shop for cheaper electric providers (if you can in your town). But numerous low-cost, energy-saving strategies escape homeowners' attention. Energy experts... Continue Reading »

Incandescent Lightbulb Regulations: What's True, What's Not

By Mary Boone Feeling in the dark about lightbulbs? You're not alone. New federal regulations regarding the sale of incandescent lightbulbs are a little confusing. Many consumers mistakenly believe the new standards, included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, ban the sale of incandescent bulbs. Not... Continue Reading »

Thanksgiving Energy-Saving Tips: How to Use Less When You're Doing a Lot

By Courtney Craig Wasting energy on Thanksgiving? Don't be a turkey. Follow these tips to make sure you're not using more energy than you need. A Couple of Days Before Thanksgiving 1. Install a dimmer switch for the dining room chandelier. Every time you dim a bulb's brightness by 10 percent, you'll double the bulb's... Continue Reading »

Energy-Efficient Homes: How They Can Boost Your Bottom Line This Winter

After Hurricane Sandy heaped devastation on homes across the East Coast, we began to think that maybe homes need to be built in better ways. There's something to be said for new energy-efficient building standards, including modular building, and how those methods are used to create stronger, sturdier houses. But... Continue Reading »

World Trade Center Prominent in New York City Skyline Once Again

By Aaron Smith Eleven years after terrorist attacks destroyed New York's World Trade Center, the replacement towers are finally taking shape and attracting new tenants -- even though most of the site's buildings are still under construction. The most prominent -- the tower known as 1 WTC -- is scheduled for... Continue Reading »

Solar Ready Roofs: California's New Homebuilding Standard

The California Energy Commission this week unanimously approved a new set of building guidelines that have some of the strongest energy efficiency standards in the nation. In addition to the more typical updated regulations regarding window insulation, lighting, and air-conditioning systems, the new guidelines will require... Continue Reading »

Utility Bills: How to Estimate Costs for a New Home

After a winter like the one we've just had, a lot of people are fed up with utility bills. The most recent forecasts from the U.S. Energy Information Administration put the cost of home heating for 2011 at $2,400 if you heat with oil--a 26% increase over last year. On average, U.S. households can expect to shell out about... Continue Reading »

Green Homes: Which Is the Greenest of Them All?

Green homes are hot commodity these days, especially as concerns over global warming mount. But eco-friendly means something different to different people. Sally Deneen of our sister site, WalletPop.com, reports on the controversy. Steven Glenn of Santa Monica lives in "the greenest house on the planet," BusinessWeek... Continue Reading »

Save Energy This Winter

While you're roasting your chestnuts on that open fire, you're also letting plenty of heat escape up through the chimney. Luckily, at AOL Real Estate we've got some great ideas to help you save energy this winter. Check out these energy-saving guides: Energy Efficient Home Improvements for Every Budget Ways to... Continue Reading »

Adding Home Insulation to Your Rental

Did you fall in love with the character of a charming, old apartment without thinking about how hard it will be to keep warm in the colder months? Older buildings are adored for their unique architectural features, but they often lack the insulation and tightly sealed windows and doors of newer buildings. It is said that... Continue Reading »

The Greener the House, the Quicker the Sale

Green living is more popular than ever, and playing up a home's green features can make all the difference when it comes to making a sale. To be competitive and to ensure you get the best price possible for your home, it makes sense to assess its sustainable, energy-saving features right along with traditional highlights... Continue Reading »

Home Improvement: The Truth About Going Green

When it comes to green home improvements, a lot of people are stuck in black-and-white thinking. Either you install solar panels or you might as well continue to gobble fossil fuel. Either you use sustainable materials or you destroy old-growth forests. The reality, of course, lies someplace in between. That's why it's... Continue Reading »

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With Carbon Credits

Sarah Warren considers herself an "unlikely environmentalist": someone who a few years ago would only casually recycle her garbage but who now can tell you her home's carbon footprint. That happened after Warren, a psychologist in Evanston, Ill., realized how environmental degradation poses "a clear threat to the health... Continue Reading »

Home Insulation: More Federal Funds, More Controversy

As Vice President Biden was touting the accomplishments of the Recovery Act last week in making 200,000 low income homes energy efficient, Republicans were pointing out that the number is far short of the 2 million homes that Biden said would benefit. The job-stimulus part of the Department of Energy program also has... Continue Reading »

Home Improvement Grants Give Homeowners a Boost

Warning! If you search the Web for "home improvement grants," you're likely to get some shady sites promising you "exclusive" access to grant information--for a fee. What they don't tell you is that most home improvement grants are distributed at the state or local level, not directly to individuals. The other detail... Continue Reading »

Couples Fight Over Who Weams (Waste More Energy and Money)

Scotland is said to have the most -- but, that's probably because no one has studied the impact weamers have on relationships in the U.S. Get used to the term "weamer" (Wasters of Energy and Money) because more energy-conscious couples are said to be fighting over who, exactly, is the weamer. What's a weamer? Ebico, the... Continue Reading »

Fannie Mae in Talks on Green Energy Initiative

Fannie Mae still speaks loudly in the housing market, and a quiet letter it sent has led to intense negotiation about the future of green financing that could seriously affect your mortgage payment and your planet. In a HousingWatch exclusive, we have learned that influential players inside and outside government are... Continue Reading »

A New Way to Fund Green Home Renovations

How's this for a clever energy-saving program: homeowners borrow money for green upgrades such as new windows, water heaters, insulation or roof-top solar panels. The money, loaned by states and municipalities that issue bonds to cover the program, is paid back by homeowners over 15 to 20 years, via a property tax... Continue Reading »

Insulation Gets Added Flair With Window Film

Window film - you need to be on a makeover show, because you've got an image problem! Window film has the reputation of the ugly step-sister of pristine windows.... think wavy plastic shrink-wrapped over leaky windows via a hairdryer. Tacky! But there are a growing number of reasons you should consider window film. Yes,... Continue Reading »

Energy Star: Not So Reliable After All

The U.S. government's Energy Star program is shining a little less brightly this week, after an investigation by the Government Accountability Office highlighted some embarrassing lapses. As The New York Times reported late last week, the GAO, acting at the behest of Congress, was able to obtain Energy Star approval for... Continue Reading »

Greening Codes to Save Green

Energy codes, the laws that set minimum levels for energy efficiency in buildings, are getting updates throughout the U.S., most ambitiously in New York City. The changes that can make a big difference are easy to grasp. And they benefit renters and owners at the developers' expense. Saving money at someone else's cost... Continue Reading »

Obama:

If R28 insulation and CFLs get you all hot and bothered, you're not alone. Turns out President Obama also finds energy efficient home remodeling to be titillating, reports USA Today. As climate talks draw to an end in Copenhagen, Obama visited a suburban Home Depot--perhaps the least sensual setting on the planet-- to push... Continue Reading »

LEDs Find Their Way Home

A study published yesterday by Osram, a German Lighting company, proves once and for all that LED bulbs and lamps require less energy to manufacture than incandescent bulbs. And the differences don't stop there: While incandescent bulbs last 1000-2000 hours, LEDs have a lifespan of 25,000 hours, and can reduce energy bills... Continue Reading »

Money for Landlords Ending Energy Waste

New York landlords are getting some green incentive to "go green" - a portion of $1 billion in new mortgages or refinancing to fix wasteful energy and water systems in their buildings, reports The New York Times. The Community Preservation Corporation, a 35-year old non-profit lender, is offering the credit to small... Continue Reading »

How to Evaluate Your Environmental Footprint

Don't have a baseline measurement, how can you improve your environmental footprint? The good news for apartment dwellers is that they're already using less energy than the average homeowner. Still, there's always room for improvement. Here's how to measure. Continue Reading »

Apartment Earth: Pick-Up of Your TV? Possible Cash-for-TV Clunkers Programs

Imagine you buy a new television, and, they pick up and recycle your old TV for you. That reality might soon exist in New York City, Washington, D.C. and California. Proposed laws will increase the energy efficiency of new television sets and possibly require haul away, too.Think of it like a "Cash for Clunkers" program... Continue Reading »

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