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Found 13 results

  1. In our modern day and age, people are more and more concerned about preserving the environment, and rightly so. There are plenty of scientific studies that suggest the planet is facing environmental challenges the likes of which it has never faced before. It has gotten to the point that going green is no longer seen as making a personal statement. It is now more about simply being a responsible person. Luckily, with the advance of technology, it has never been easier to be an environmentally friendly home owner. Solar Energy Solar panel technology has been around for quite some time now. It has never been more affordable than it is now, however. The benefits are pretty obvious to see. By switching out your power source from public energy plants which use up natural resources such as coal and oil, you substantially reduce your carbon footprint. Solar energy is not only incredibly easy to obtain, but it is also very cost effective in the long run. After all, the sun is free to use. So while the initial cost of solar panels can be scary for a lot of people, be assured that they will more than pay themselves off in due time. Of course, you don't have to go all-in on solar energy if don't want to or can't afford to. You may not be able to afford enough panels to power the whole home at first. If this is the case then you can still use solar panels to power parts of your house, while relying on conventional power for the rest of the spaces. It is still better than obtaining all of your energy the conventional way and can be upgraded when you have the ability. Water Efficient Plumbing I'm sure that you have seen the water efficient bathroom appliances when you go out to restaurants and other such public places. While the businesses generally say that they installed these appliances in order to be environmentally conscientious, we all know that all they really care about is the bottom line. Yet they still installed them. This should be taken as a cue that water efficient bathrooms are both cheaper and good for the environment. Nature-Friendly Gardens This one really only applies to people with yards, but since that represents a lot of people it is important to mention. Basically, fill up your yard with local plants instead of the standard (water depleting) grass. Not only is it environmentally friendly because you are using native plants that enrich the environment, but it also provides the house with unique curb appeal that everyone will appreciate. So the point is that making your house a little more eco-friendly is far from difficult. In fact, it has never been easier. If you are building your home, companies like Fischer Homes can often construct the home to work well with these green initiatives. So if you haven't already, consider making a few tweaks to your house in order to ensure that you are doing your part to preserve our environment.
  2. Going green can seem a bit daunting, especially if you don’t know how to apply these principles at home. At first, it might seem like everything is trying to destroy the planet. However, these four tips will help you make the difference that you’re looking to make right from your own home. Grill One appliance that may use propane or other forms of energy is the grill, but that no longer has to be the case. It might be a good idea to consider a solar-powered grill that will not use up electricity or force you to purchase propane. These grills can fry, bake, boil, and grill by using the power of the sun. This is a tasty way to help the earth! Generator One way to power your small appliances is by using generators. Solar-powered generators will allow you to use your basic appliances without plugging them up to electricity. Generators do not last too long, but it should provide enough energy throughout the day. This is really what you want since most of the electricity produced by factories ends up releasing unnecessary carbon into the atmosphere. Hot Water Everyone knows that water heaters work with gas or electricity, but did you know that you can install a solar-powered hot water system? Yes, and it should work just as efficiently as any other hot water appliance would work. It is estimated that about 80 percent of the annual cost associated with hot water can be cut using a solar-powered hot water heater, like those you can get from Degree C Pty Ltd. This also means that electricity use will be down, reducing your carbon footprint. Solar Panels This is perhaps the most expensive option, but it is one worth mentioning. These panels are installed on the roof of your home by professionals and are meant to provide the house with a sufficient amount of energy. Think of it as installing a large-scale generator that will power up your entire house. The expense is one reason why some do not opt for this choice while others do not want to install these panels above their roof due to several reasons like aesthetics or the stability of the roof. Nevertheless, it is a good option for those who would not mind installing these panels. These are just four ways that you can go green by using solar-powered appliances or making additions to your home. There are more ways that you can harness the power of the sun. Do not be afraid to make the switch that will help you save some cash and help the planet
  3. Creating an energy-efficient environment can benefit you in many ways. It can cut down your electric bill and provide you with the means to claim a tax break in some cases. If you have not yet transformed to living an energy-efficient life, these tips can help you get started. Have Your Insulation Checked The first and quickest way that you can be energy-efficient is by checking the insulation in your home. You contact a professional to have an inspection. If the inspection reveals poor insulation, then you know you need to tighten things up to maximize energy efficiency. Buy Energy Star Household Items The golden rule of energy efficiency is not getting too attached to one's old appliances. Look for the Energy Star logo whenever you shop for any household appliances. Examples of items that you may need to replace are items such as washing machines, clothes washers, refrigerators and the like. The Energy Star symbol is a guarantee that your new device is going to use as little energy as possible to do the job it needs to do. Renovate by Swapping Out Major Equipment You will need to conduct some major upgrades if you want to receive the tax breaks and truly get the most out of your energy efficiency potential. For example, you may want to replace your current boiler with one from a company like Nationwide Boiler. Obtain a Special Energy Measurement Sensor Many people would use less energy if they could get on-demand usage stats. Therefore, you may want to buy a gadget or device that measures the amount of energy that you are consuming on any given day. You can then manipulate the amount of energy that you use. Such devices do exist, although they are probably few and far between. Regularly Maintain Your Appliances Another way that you can ensure that you maintain an energy efficient environment is if you perform regular maintenance on your appliances. For example, you can dust your air conditioner and change the filters so it doesn't have to work harder than normal to cool the room. You can do the same with the heating system, fridge and other appliances. Have a professional come in and provide maintenance to the items that you don't quite understand. Use the previously mentioned ideas to get yourself started on an efficient path. You can apply the tips to a business or a large-scale project, as well.
  4. If you are purchasing a new home, there are several eco-friendly features that you should consider investigating. Transforming your home into something that is both environmentally friendly and comfortable can be easy if you consider incorporating these features. Consider eco-conscious landscaping Landscaping is one part of a home that is almost always possible to change. However, when looking for a new home, it’s good to look for eco-friendly landscaping that is both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally conscious. Instead of traditional flowers, there might be drought resistant plants, or native plants, that do not require a large amount of water. It’s also becoming more common to see landscaping choices like rocks and woodchips that take the place of some or all of the grass in a yard and cut down on water usage. These are both great starts on eco-conscious landscaping, but the most valuable thing to look for in your next home’s landscape is an updated irrigation system. Good irrigation systems use less water, cover only what needs to be watered, and are often programmable. Install Solar Panels Many new homes have incorporated solar paneling on top of the house. Solar panels allow the house to receive a certain percentage of its energy from the sun. There are many companies that can install solar paneling which can not only enhance the resale value of your home but also help to cut down on energy costs. Buying a house already equipped with solar panels is one way to go, but you can also look for a home that has a strong electrical system that could accommodate the electrical needs of a solar panel system. In addition to checking out the house, you may want to check out what kinds of benefits you may get from the city for having solar power for your home. Eco-Friendly Windows and Natural Lighting One of the best things homeowners will upgrade in their home is the windows. Windows are a great investment because they add value to the home and pay for themselves by saving money on heating and air conditioning. These particular windows are also great for the interior of the home because they block UV rays from fading or damaging upholstery and carpet. Eco-friendly windows will also help to regulate temperatures in your home during both hot and cold weather. In addition to eco-friendly windows, you may want to consider a design that incorporates more natural light throughout the house. Windows and skylights are a great way to fill a home with light without spending any money on electricity. Any of these things are a great thing to look for when buying a new home because they can help you save money in the long-term. While you may be able to find homes with great eco-friendly features, sometimes you’ll have to make those upgrades yourself. Either way, it’s a good idea to consult a real estate agent like those at Mark Fox Company to get details on any of the homes you’re interested in. Research all of your options and you will find that creating an eco-conscious house can be easier than you think.
  5. Green and eco-friendly construction is the way of the future. Current homeowners are doing what they can to make their homes green through small (or large) remodeling projects. While some can get pricey, the long-term pay off for any green project is immeasurable. Technology is being developed every day to advance green building practices, maximize renewable resources, and reduce our carbon footprint. If you are looking to make your home more environmentally friendly, here are a few suggestions for your next remodel. Cool Roofs Cool roofs are quickly becoming the way of the future according to professionals at Roland’s Roofing. The special tiles and reflective paint reflect sunlight and heat, keeping the home cooler in the summer. This reduces the need to use an HVAC system, saving the owners money but also reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission. Reclaimed Floors Reclaimed wood is being used more and more for flooring projects in homes. Reclaimed wood is durable, renewable, and recycled, meaning no new trees have to be cut down. Backing without harmful VOCs is also becoming more popular to create a truly green floor. Although not reclaimed, bamboo flooring is also on the rise since it is inexpensive, durable, and the plant matures quickly. Solar Panels More home owners are opting to go solar. Solar panels are fairly quick and easy to install, increase home value, and pay themselves off in 5 to 10 years depending on your energy use. They also require little long-term maintenance. Direct Vent Fireplaces Homeowners who want a fireplace without the hassle of a fire place are turning to direct vent fireplaces. Wood-burning fireplaces may be charming and romantic, but they require a lot of upkeep and the pollutants they produce can irritate your lungs. Direct vent gas fireplaces use air for combustion and can be vented vertically or horizontally, meaning you don’t need a chimney either. Storm Water Management When remodeling, don’t forget the outside. Landscaping the outside of your home to better manage large volumes of water will come in handy after a big storm. Not only can this help prevent flooding, plants in your yard will be able to absorb the water and purify it as it soaks into the soil. This also helps curb erosion in more rural areas. Just because you are not in the market for a new home doesn’t mean you need to miss out on green home trends. Use the above ideas to improve your home as well as the environment around you.
  6. You've probably noticed the growing popularity of solar panels, as they've become less expensive and more refined in the past few years. And although many of your neighbors may be sprucing up their roofs with solar panels, is it really worth the switch for your wallet and the environment? Here are some of the pros and cons of solar power systems to help you decide if making the switch is right for you. Pros No Greenhouse Gas Emissions The process of obtaining and using solar energy does not result in any chemical by-products. No gases, smokes, or any other potentially harmful substances are released, making solar energy a healthier option for your family and the environment. Tax Credits and Cash Rebates In a nutshell, there are a lot of people who want you to switch over to solar energy. The federal government, state governments, and several utility companies are willing to reward those who install solar power systems. The federal government will match dollar-for-dollar 30 percent of the cost of your system as a tax credit, and several state governments also offer tax credits to those who install solar energy systems. Not to mention the savings on your monthly power bill, and the possibility of selling your SREC (solar renewable energy certificates) to make an extra few hundred or thousand dollars each year. No Ongoing Energy Costs The great thing about solar energy is that it’s literally available to anyone, anywhere. So once you have a way to harness and use solar energy, you don’t have to keep paying for it. Other than the initial costs of installing a system, as well as some light maintenance, you won’t have to pay anything for the energy. Can Function off the Grid An especially appealing feature for those who live in rural areas is the possibility of using solar power to power buildings and structures that would otherwise require expensive power line installation, or that experience frequent power outages. Not Influenced by Politics Since no particular country or person can own the sun or its energy, you don’t have to worry about costs fluctuating because of politics or the conditions of international relations. Cons It Doesn't Work at Night Your house will still be connected to the main power grid when your solar energy system cannot generate enough electricity, like at night when the sun has gone down. Solar Panels are Large In order to make the switch to solar energy, you have to be willing to sacrifice the consistent look of your roof. Solar panels are just big and bulky. The more-efficient silicon crystalline wafer solar panels are particularly thick and large. New, thinner panels have been developed, but these are not as efficient as the larger crystalline wafer solar panels. It's not Very Efficient As mentioned above, solar energy is not consistent because the sun is not always available. Solar panels in general have about a 20 percent efficiency rate, which measures how much of the sun’s energy the panels are able to convert into usable electricity. Efficiency is improving, and considering the cost on the environment and other factors of using traditional fossil fuels for energy, many people dub even 20 percent a raging success. If you’re considering making the switch to solar energy, get a free quote and learn more about the process.
  7. Does Ireland really get enough sunshine to make Solar Energy worthwhile? Yes. Believe it or not, Ireland actually gets the same amount of sunlight as most of central Europe (the best approximation would be southern France). This is more than enough to make Solar Panels a viable energy option in Ireland. Do Solar Panels only work when it's sunny? No. Even when it is cloudy, the sun's rays provide plenty of harvestable energy. This is known as 'indirect sunlight', which accounts for 60% of all energy provided by the sun. Only 40% of solar energy comes from direct sunlight, so a bright sunny day is not necessary for generating a viable source of solar power. What do Solar Panels actually generate? Over the course of the year, the energy converted by solar panels can provide roughly 65% of a household's hot water. During the summer months this can rise above 95%. What's the difference between Evacuated Tube and Flat Plate Solar Panels? Evacuated Tube Solar Panels are generally more efficient in terms of energy in cloudy weather conditions (i.e. the weather typically observed in Ireland). Flat Plate Solar Panels, while somewhat less efficient in terms of energy production during periods of poor weather, are more durable and are far less likely to require maintenance at any point, making them more budget efficient options for households. My house is quite old. Can Solar Panels still be attached to it? Yes. Some roof tiles may have to be removed to facilitate the Solar Panels, but this is not a major operation and it will not disturb the interiors of a home in any way. The panels themselves are very light so no structural reinforcement is needed. Do I need planning permission to install Solar Panels? No. Planning permission is not required to install Solar Panels on domestic buildings in the Republic of Ireland so long as the panels are smaller than 12 meters squared. Where is the best place to put Solar Panels? The optimum position for Solar panels is facing south and at a 45 degree angle. This will catch more sunshine (and will create more energy) over the course of the year in Ireland than any other layout. While Solar Panels can be placed on walls or even on the ground, the roof is generally considered the best spot as it tends to be away from areas of activity, limiting the chances of them getting damaged. Once installed, what are the running costs of Solar Panels? As there are virtually no moving parts (with the exception of a small circulation pump), the cost of running Solar Panels at full energy producing capacity is negligible - in the region of 20c per year. How long does it take for Solar Panels to start 'paying for themselves'? After approximately 4 or 5 years the savings made from energy created by Solar Panels will have completely covered the cost of purchase and installation (as well as the aforementioned small ongoing maintenance costs). After that, the Solar Panels will essentially be creating free energy on an ongoing basis. What other benefits do you get from installing Solar Panels? In addition to the energy savings you will make, the addition of Solar Panels will greatly increase a house's resale value. The house will also benefit from an improved BER (Building Energy Rating). How long do Solar Panels last? Due to a lack of moving parts, the Solar Panels themselves last a very long time and almost never require maintenance. As it is the only moving part in the whole system, the circulation pump is susceptible to minimal natural wear and tear. It is recommended that the pump is replaced once every 10 to 15 years. Luckily, a circulation pump is an inexpensive item which is easily replaced, usually costing between €10 and €20 - not much of an outlay over the course of a decade or so; working out at about a euro a year. Do Solar Panels come with a warranty? While different companies have different policies, it is usually possible to get a 10 year guarantee which covers repairs and maintenance when it comes to purchasing solar panel products. Are there any grants/subsidies available for buying Solar Panels? Yes. Among the money saving options available to Irish consumers is grant of up to €800 for the purchase/installation of Solar Panels from the SEAI's Better Energy Homes Scheme. More information on this scheme and other means of reducing the cost of Solar Panels can be found here.
  8. Are you passionate about environmentally responsible practices and green living? Would you like to have a job that paid your bills while also helping to save the planet? Today’s colleges are focusing more and more on providing degrees that can work for the environment. Whether it’s a science research in declining species, to a technology degree to help with wind turbines, or even an online mba in management information systems, more degrees are being created with the world in mind. Below are four job options you might be interested in, and how to get involved in the environment with your degree and career. Solar Panel Installer The solar energy industry has been booming in recent years, and as the technology has improved and the supply and demand have increased, costs have dropped significantly. This has allowed homeowners and small businesses to have solar panels installed on their homes and buildings, and reduce their electric bills to mere pennies per month. Solar installation is becoming a very popular job, and installers can make pretty good money. In some cases, specialized training via tech schools is not even necessary, as some employers will offer paid on-the-job training for new installers. Wind Turbine Distributor Not only have solar panels become more popular over the past few years, now wind turbines are rising in popularity too. And we're not just talking about those massive, high tech windmill that dot the landscape out in the desert. We're talking about much smaller units purchased by homeowners to set up in their back yards. There are many companies out there now who are looking for distributors, so you don't necessarily have to work for the company who designs and installs the systems; instead, you can become an outside sales representative and work for commissions. Green Energy Auditor Energy auditors inspect homes and commercial properties, looking for ways to cut down on energy costs. They often focus on improving window and door insulation to reduce heating and cooling costs. They might also recommend lighting systems that could reduce electricity usage. These types of changes not only help their clients to save the planet and preserve precious natural resources; they also help them to save money by reducing their monthly electric, gas and water bills. Green Home Designers Green design elements are being incorporated more and more into home construction and design, allowing for some pretty interesting and fulfilling jobs as green architects and green interior designers. Green principles can be applied every step of the way, from using recycled building materials, double-paneled insulation in the walls, double-paned glass windows, low-watt CFC lighting systems, rain catch-water systems, skylights and more. What better way to show off your artistic creativity, do something good for your community and for the planet, and make a living at the same time? These are just a handful of options in the green job market, but these ideas barely scratch the surface. There are countless opportunities out there today, with more being created every year. This is a young industry with a lot of room for growth. Go for the gold and find a program or job that offers a little more satisfaction for your part in the environment.
  9. New Build Green Homes

    UK housing is some the least energy efficient in Europe and to meet carbon emission targets, carbon emission from UK households need to be reduced by a least 80%, if not more. Additionally, the housing market is picking up because of the ‘help to buy’ scheme. Meaning more individuals are able to afford to purchase a home and many are choosing new builds. One of the advantages of purchasing a newly built home is they tend to be greener and this means significantly lower energy bills, which also helps to make them more affordable for buyers. New builds mean you can buy more confidently. There is less need for property lawyers due to speculation of asbestos, or something else which could affect the living conditions of your home, and your rights as a homebuyer. Gordon Dean, solicitors based in Norfolk specialise in such claims, click here to find out more. Current New Build Green Options The housing industry has taken note of this need for environmentally friendly housing and even some of the housing being currently built is relatively green. For instance Abel homes, who specialise in building new homes in Norfolk, have a range of green homes options, many of which come as standard features of their new builds. Solar PV which allows home owners to take advantage of the government incentive (the feed-in-tariffs) and create their own electricity. The insulation is well over the level required by law, the walls have “super” insulation and there is triple glazing, features which all help the home to retain heat and thus aid energy efficiency making the home cheaper to heat and keep warm. The central heating systems are all Band A - the most energy efficient type. Zero-Carbon Homes of the Near Future This kind of new build is definitely a step in the right direction for the UK housing stock, however the government has recognised that to meet its steep targets of reduced carbon emissions that every new home built from 2016 needs to be zero-carbon, i.e. it offsets or produces the amount of carbon it uses in a year. There have been various projects looking into the best way to realistically achieve such a goal. I will detail the key feature of one particular zero-carbon home case study, to give an idea of what creating a zero carbon home involves. The Greenwatt Way Case Study: This project was created by Scottish and Southern Energy, they created 10 homes and monitored how the energy efficiency held up when individuals live their daily lives in the housing. The zero carbon target is met through various means; the materials the homes are built with are fabrics that help to limit heat loss in the home. These materials help to increase the heat recovery efficiency of a home to 92% - much higher than in most homes. The overall need for heat and lighting in these homes was reduced by innovative design and fabric performance. However, that alone does not create a zero-carbon home, the way tenants use the home has to be energy and water efficient. Thus all the appliances in the house are energy efficient and there is smart metering and smart appliances to aid with energy monitoring and use. The homes also feature a grey water recycling system, where used bath and shower water is recycled and used to flush toilets and recover wasted heat. All the houses make use of a central rainwater collection system, where the water is stored and can be used to flush toilets and provide water for car washing and irrigation. The final component in creating homes which are carbon neutral is utilising renewable energy; low carbon heating and hot water are supplied to all the homes from a renewable energy centre. This centre takes the best of domestic renewable technology and combines them to provide the energy and heating these homes need. The energy centre includes solar thermal panels, an air source heat pump, a ground source heat pump and a biomass boiler. This is just one example of how to create a zero-carbon housing, hopefully in the future all new builds will be carbon neutral which will benefit both the home owner (saving on bills) and the environment.
  10. No one can dispute that Germany is the world’s leading advocate of solar energy. However, countries like Australia are rapidly progressing in their mission to adopt sustainable energy, as they are beginning to wholeheartedly embrace solar energy. With the Australian government’s decisively enforced ‘Renewable Energy Target (RET)’, a 13 year period has caused 1.2 million homes with solar panels installed on their roofs. In addition to this, development in research has led to an eventual reverse in Australia's reliance on fossil fuels, if the technology can be sustained. The ultimate goal of this scheme is to guarantee that 20% of the country’s electricity is produced from renewable sources by the year 2020. What is great is that solar power magnitude is said to develop even further in the next decade. Australia and Asia aim to increase their rooftop solar panels usage by up to six times in quantity in the next ten years. Similar to the aforementioned scheme, a majority of other mandatory renewable energy targets aim to reach their objective by 2020. These legally binding objectives (in which 67 countries worldwide are a part of), include large scale and small scale schemes which strive to reach the national objective steadily, while simultaneously targeting a range of small and large regions and by applying first, second and third generation technology in these areas. In 2009, the European Commission initiated a renewable energy policy which enforced all member states of the European Union to abide to the ’20-20-20’ targets, which represent 3 main goals, including a 20% decrease in EU greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels, raising the share of EU energy consumption produced from renewable resources to 20% and an expected 20% increase in the EU's energy efficiency; all by 2020. The Green Deal is an initiative supported by the government in the UK, which helps people comprehend the energy saving improvements they can personally make on their home, which can be beneficial for a more wide-ranging understanding of the situation on a local and global level. The Green Deal finance loan aims to fund a percentage of the installation costs of micro generation systems at home but is not that productive because costs still remain beyond for the average Brit’s budget. However, times are changing. On a more local scale, to steadily achieve greater results, solar panels have become much easier to maintain in the United Kingdom. Especially with affordable apparatus such as electrical test equipment, which means you can now maintain your micro generation energy system at home with minimal additional assistance. Communities across the country are also making an effort to adopt more sustainable schemes of energy production, such as The Lancaster Cohousing Project based in Forgebank. At a glance, it seems that a mandatory renewable energy target can be a beneficial approach for UK to adopt in various ways, both environmentally and financially. In 2013, British Gas raised gas prices by 8.4% and electricity prices by 10.4%, which on average is a 9.2% rise. With the pressure on the nation in terms of household bills, the prospect of renewable energy has become more appealing to all; not just environmentalists. Countries which have proven the potential for substantial progress over a relatively short period of time are Sweden, Estonia and Bulgaria, which have already exceeded their 2020 goal, 6 years ahead of schedule. This progress is due to a substantial growth in production of wind power. Only time will tell if renewable energy systems in the local community are as reasonable as the promising outcome. The UK still has 6 years to pull something out of the bag, and at the rate technology is developing, who knows what the future holds for everyone.
  11. In today's society many environmentally conscious and thrifty individuals seek the freedom that comes from living off the grid. Innovations in energy and water conservation have provided avenues for many to become less reliant on city resources. Here are some examples of alternative energy sources and conservation methods that ordinary home owners can use on their journey to sustainable living. Take Advantage of a Wind Energy Windfall Wind energy is one of the main alternative energy products that has been used by commercial operations for many years. These industrial organizations refined wind energy collection and distribution methods with sophisticated wind farms where one large wind turbine can produce enough power for 600 households. These techniques are now scalable for residential use, and small wind electric systems potentially cut electricity bills by up to 90 percent depending on one's windy location. These wind turbines that are equipped for residential use are nonpolluting, and many systems are capable of running independently of the city's electric grid. Employ Energy Efficient Heating and Cooling Systems Many household appliances received energy-efficient make overs in recent years, and residential heating, ventilation, air conditioning and cooling (HVAC) systems from Romaniuk Heating & Air Conditioning Ltd are no exceptions. Well-known HVAC system manufacturers have developed patented electronic controls that modify residential temperatures at smaller increments. This creates a temperate indoor environment that requires less energy to maintain. Also, some HVAC systems use solar power in conjunction with these other energy-saving mechanisms. Be Solar Savvy Solar power is one of the most common sources of alternative energy used throughout the world. Roof top solar power systems that produce a household's entire energy supply are still expensive, but there are some cheaper ways to harness enough solar energy to reduce one's reliance on city power. Besides installing do it yourself solar panels around one's property, home owners will soon be able to pick up solar shutters and blinds from their local hardware stores and collect solar energy in a relatively inexpensive way. These special window treatments block heat producing summer sun rays while absorbing the energy for household power consumption. Another smart solar power invention is a flexible, tensile material with thin solar absorbing sheets built into the fabric. People can use this material to give shade to sunny patios, decks or car ports while collecting significant amounts of solar energy. While not yet available in local stores, home owners can get some of these products from the inventors who sell them in small quantities over the internet. The described sustainable living tools are just a few examples from a fast growing industry that continues to develop environmentally friendly products. These products often spark other creative ideas that promote the cause of sustainable living.
  12. Eco-Friendly Homes - Today's Popular Focus There's a good reason home buyers and homeowners focus heavily on eco-friendly homes. Solar energy is today's cleanest, most convenient way to cost-effective home ownership. The beauty of solar energy is how it has improved in the past decade. Today, solar panels are diverse and are barely perceptible installed on roof tops and siding. One important factor is the progress in hi-tech solar energy production. For homeowners, heating and cooling their homes can literally pay the cost of solar panel installation within half a decade. The great news is that solar energy can be installed by professional HVAC experts. For those living in high temperature regions, a conversion to solar air conditioning cuts energy consumption and costs. Solar and Aircon for the Home Today's eco conscious homeowners strive to reduce their fossil fuel use. For newly built homes, home buyers can choose air conditioning produced from solar energy. There's a wide range of choices for solar energy installation. In some states, solar air conditioning installations are offered on a lease-to-buy arrangement, month-to-month usage or full purchase of a solar air conditioner. With full purchase, it's important to check state and federal tax credits with regard to reduction in energy use. Solar and Aircon for the home is a perfect duo to consider when air conditioner installation is the next major home improvement. Air conditioner installation pros today are fully experienced in converting or adapting an A/C system to function with existing solar energy sources. How to Find a Solar and Aircon Installer In most states, solar energy professionals include electricians, air conditioner installation experts, electricians, construction contractors and electrical and mechanical engineers. To insure highest standards are met, these professionals are tested and receive licensing and certification. To find a solar HVAC installer to replace an existing air conditioner or central air system, look for an installer who can provide licensing and certification of their expertise. Today, licensed electricians possess a diverse background of study in the newest, eco-friendly forms of energy in addition to their knowledge in a broad range of electrical installations. For eco conscious homeowners, this makes it easier to find the most proficient solar installer. Experience and Attention to Eco Conscious Customers Discuss the potential for savings with an electrician with solar experience. Homeowners will find the installation process for solar A/C is reasonably priced and worth the savings over the long term. Depending on the A/C system chosen, an electrician with solar experience will have homeowners enjoying a cool, comfortable home, secure in the knowledge they are maintaining an eco friendly environment that's clean and safe.
  13. Going green is becoming a popular trend in the world today, as more and more homes and businesses are installing solar panels, recycling and using energy efficient materials and supplies in their premises, as a way of preserving the environment. Owners of storage facilities have not been left out, and a growing number of facilitates have started to adopt these environmentally friendly strategies. One of the most commonly embraced strategies is the use of solar power. This article details the main reasons why storage facilities should go solar: Energy Savings How much energy does your storage facility currently use? How do seasonal climate changes affect energy usage? How many climate controlled mobile self-storage units do you have? Are you required to provide energy for the live-in manager? Naturally, storage facilities utilize minimal amounts of energy, and connecting solar power could make them totally self-sufficient. Due to the fact that most storage facilities are usually accessed at night, facilities that are connected with solar power place no demand on the power grid at peak usage times. The size of the solar power system will be determined by the current energy usage of the storage facility in order to offset the current energy costs. And since these facilities will be spending less on energy, you can therefore lower your rental prices further and attract more clients. Potential Earnings Owners of storage facilities can earn some additional income by selling the surplus energy back to their utility companies. Owners should check with their local providers to establish if there are any limits on how much electricity the utility company will buy back. This way, you can calculate how much income your storage facility can earn. Competitive Edge Installing solar power can give your storage business a competitive edge, particularly with the younger crowds and the environmentally-conscious. According to statistics given by Earthshare.org, 35% of population is more willing to pay for services from businesses that are environmentally friendly. Your renewable efforts and efficiency can give you an edge over your rivals, even when you are competing against the bigger brands. Press – Free Publicity Your storage facility will receive a wide range of coverage for its green efforts, with mentions in the mainstream media and other publications. You can send out press releases to the right channels and by so doing, you can position your brand as an energy efficient business and draw a lot of publicity towards your storage facility. Return on Investment Installing and maintaining solar power can be an unaffordable venture for most businesses. However, investing in this form of renewable energy pays for itself in the long run because, ultimately, the amount you will save in energy costs will outweigh the upfront costs of investment. It will take approximately five and a half years for the facility to recoup its investment via reduced tax credits, energy bills and rebates. Tax Credits Many localities, cities, states and countries around the world offer tax credits to businesses that practice energy efficiency and renewable energy strategies. Check with your local authority or government to see what kind of benefits you will enjoy in your area. Some governments, such the federal government in the United States, offer attractive benefits to businesses which save energy and produce their own; for instance, a 30% corporate tax credit is given for solar panels. For a detailed list of energy saving strategies, you can visit the website EnergyStar.gov. Social Responsibility – Giving Back to the Community The process of installing solar power for the storage facility will require professionals with the right kind of expertise. You can hire contractors from your locality to install and maintain the solar panels for you, thereby creating job opportunities for them. Furthermore, the energy generated from the project can be used to power the homes that surround the storage facility, as a way of appreciating the support they show to your business. Diversify your Business Some storage facility operators shy away from integrating climate control or refrigeration systems due to the high electricity costs involved. But thanks to solar power, these facilities can now provide power to run these systems at considerably lower prices. With these systems available, the storage facility can diversify its business and start handling frozen foodstuffs such as meat, chicken, prepared foods, strawberries and other products. Other operators are now turning into seasonal climate control, whereby the climate control option is available only during summer (when there is adequate sunlight to supply power for the cooling and refrigeration systems). Clients can sign up for these seasonal agreements so they too can help conserve energy and the environment. Prestige By connecting solar power to the storage facilities, the buildings can qualify for LEED certification. This is a prestigious standing awarded to businesses constructed with efficient and recycled materials. Such an award can immensely boost the reputation of your business, and also allows you to take advantage of state and local incentives. Set the Trend As a trendsetter, your business can assume the role of being the chief campaigner for green energy strategies in your local community. You may as well restructure your mobile self-storage unit (for more info on mobile self-storage unit go to http://www.taxiboxmobileselfstorage.com.au/) so that it becomes the first self-sustained “green” business in your locality. Taking a higher moral ground can go a long way in building trust and confidence amongst your targeted clients. Suitability – Ease of Installation The design of storage facilities makes them perfect for solar energy panels. Rooftop solar power installations are the most practicable options, because of the dense structure of the storage facilities, where units are compact and buildings are simple – most of these buildings are single-storied structures with flat roofs, allowing easy installation of high-density arrays of photovoltaic cells. Conclusion The storage industry is gradually positioning itself as responsible environmental stewards and leaders in the communities that they serve. Currently, more and more storage facilities are exploiting solar energy for their businesses, as they seek to play an influential role in environmental management and conservation. Governments and non-governmental organizations around the world have also a put a lot of money into reversing the degradation of the ozone layer through legislation and by encouraging business enterprises to embrace ecologically friendly alternatives, such as solar power. Photo courtesy of