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Tagged : energy-conservation

Energy efficiency – The low-cost path to lower electricity bills

May 21st, 2012

A new report by the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy shows that energy efficiency is the least costly way to lower consumer electricity bills.

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Princeton Review names the top greenest colleges for 2011

April 20th, 2011

Just in time for Earth Day, The Princeton Review has released its latest guidebook to the greenest colleges in the U.S.

The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2011 Edition, created in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council

At Georgia Tech trayless cafeterias are just one of many green steps the university has taken.

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It’s harder to be green in the winter chill

December 7th, 2010

It’s cold now. Pretty much everywhere except for those places that converge toward a moderate median in the 70s, like LA, or Miami.

Have you noticed that in the cold, it’s harder to be green?

For example, I have real trouble detaching from my shower after the allotted five minutes. I am cold most of the daytime, but it’s warm in the shower. I want to linger there. You do too, admit it. Once the Lazy Environmentalist was honest with us about that. He said he had good ideas in the shower and he liked to take long ones. (See the article if you don’t believe me.)

During my longer-than-usual shower this morning I didn’t really have any great ideas. I did think a lot about how much I like warm showers in the winter. I strategized extensively on my exit plan for the shower: Grab the towel, retrieve the slippers immediately; get into the wool shirt, even if it sticks to my wet skin, find winter cardigan.

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First appliance recycling center opens in Hatfield, Penn.

March 10th, 2010

From Green Right Now Reports

PECO, FirstEnergy and PPL Utilities are working together on an environmental project that will help Pennsylvania residents lower their energy usage — and get rid of clunker appliances.

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‘Smart’ meters will help consumers track electricity use

February 12th, 2010

By Bill Sullivan
Green Right Now

A sudden cold snap created a spike in consumption. Christmas lights were fun at the time, but they, too, kept that meter running. Kids routinely leave electronics on, even when they’re not in the room.

Advanced Metering System

Advanced Metering System

Sure, you try to do all those little things that, in a perfect world, can help keep cost and environmental impact down. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world, and a big number on that electric bill each month can come as a shock to both the system and the budget.

But what if your world was just a little more perfect? What if you could log on to your computer and check consumption down to, say, a 15-minute period? What if you could figure out that your teenager is running the TV, stereo, a game player (or two) and every light in his room — all despite the fact that he’s spending the night at a friend’s house?

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Blue Hawaii getting greener every day

October 28th, 2009

By Shermakaye Bass
Green Right Now

(HONOLULU) – Hawaii has found a new place in the sun. With a local in the White House and clean-energy tech booming, this sunny, windy island state is blossoming into an exotic garden of alternative power innovation with nearly $1 billion in clean energy projects underway. The aggressive new initiatives are driven by history and necessity.

Necessity, because Hawaii gets 90 percent of its energy from imported oil, while its isolation makes it vulnerable to frequent power outages (no neighbors to send in reserves – until wave power is tapped). Not-so-distant history, because native Hawaiian culture is rooted in respect for nature, a vibe that resonates “take no more than is needed and squander nothing that is taken”.

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Ever-greener Seattle leads in LEED buildings, bike trails, climate action

May 18th, 2009

By Harriet Blake

America’s urban centers are becoming ever greener, with the National League of Cities holding its first ever Green Cities Conference last month. While many cities have recently taken up environmental causes, some have been carrying the banner for years.

Seattle, home to such earlier innovations as the 60s Space Needle, Microsoft, and grunge rock, is one such green leader.

In 2008, Seattle was anointed the nation’s leader in LEED-certified buildings by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), culminating an eight-year-old sustainable building policy calling for city-funded projects to be LEED-qualified at the silver level.

Seattle also can boast about its:

  • Impressive bike trails system with about 30 trails and 20 bike lanes, making bike commuting commonplace in Seattle, home to the Cascade Bicycle Club, which claims to be the nation’s largest bicycle club
  • Community-based home energy efficiency program, called SWITCH, that started last year and has sent neighbors door-to-door with thousands of CFL light bulbs.

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    Church initiative helps congregations believe in renewable power and energy conservation

    May 7th, 2009

    By Harriet Blake
    Green Right Now

    Congregations of any faith may benefit from joining the nonprofit Interfaith Power & Light initiative. The non-profit group offers members a way to lessen energy costs and at the same time, promote renewable energy.

    The IP&L initiative came into effect in 1998 when a coalition of Episcopal churches formed with the support of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. They joined together to purchase renewable energy. In 2001, the group grew into the California Interfaith Power and Light, helping people of all faiths in California organize to promote environmental change and address global warming. Today, under the umbrella group, The Regeneration Project, there is a movement to establish similar programs in all states. Today, 29 states have Interfaith Power and Light organizations.

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    Green jobs — Stories of hope

    April 6th, 2009

    By Barbara Kessler
    Green Right Now

    With unemployment at a 25-year peak, it’s sometimes difficult to find the good news. The silver lining.

    You have to look for it. Sometimes you have to pull up a curtain, or crawl behind the scenes, but we believe it’s there: a green jobs revolution.

    OK. Maybe the revolution is more of a restless assemblage, a loose gathering on the horizon than a storming of the palace. But we’ll take it. When we started looking into it, we discovered that green jobs are bubbling up in so many sectors. They’re rewarding, forward-looking and surprisingly well-paying.

    The people we’ve been talking to about their planet-preserving employment are beyond enthused. Whether they’re in recycling, home building, organic baking, new energy or water conservation, so many green-collar workers in these new (and some old) jobs see a bright future. Just read their stories, which begin today on GreenRightNow in our Business section.

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    Let your local utility help you power down on energy costs

    February 9th, 2009

    By Harriet Blake

    Northerners dread opening up those utility bills this time of year. On the flip side, Southerners hate seeing theirs in summer. The local utility company is their arch nemesis. …Or is it?

    More and more utility companies are working to help customers save money when it comes to energy — even though it’s counter-intuitive because when customers trim their energy bills, utility companies collect less money.

    Setting up a less profit-bound system involves a concept called “decoupling,” in which states step in to help the power companies become agents for change. Typically, the state offers incentives to companies to help customers become more energy efficient. When electricity demand falls, the state might replace profits or extend other financial assistance to the power company, thereby “decoupling” the profits from usage.

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    UT Studies Green Roofs: A Cool Growing Idea

    September 8th, 2008

    By John DeFore

    Test boxes at Wildflower Center

    The green roof concept — in which some form of plant is grown atop a building — is spreading in multiple directions in the States. Not just the realm of futurists (though we love this idea) or extravagant fashionistas (see some lovely examples here), the field is drawing interest from homeowners and corporations with a range of motivations.

    Now a study by the University of Texas at Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has quantified some of the issues motivating folks to put plants on the roof and found that the benefits are substantial, although results can vary widely depending on how the roof is composed and installed.

    At the Wildflower Center, a team led by ecologist Dr. Mark Simmons studied roofs made by six different manufacturers with an eye toward helping the fledgling industry make better performing products. “Just having a green roof may not mean anything in terms of preventing water from reaching the street level, for instance,” Simmons has said. “Green roofs have to be done right, and our hope is to help manufacturers understand how to improve their designs.”

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    Electricity Savings Is Blowing In The Wind

    April 18th, 2008

    By Bill Sullivan Nancy Riddick leads a visitor to the power meter on the side of her rural home, set on two acres of prairie land in Hunt County, Texas. The mid-April wind is whipping at 30 miles an hour or more, so the timing of this demonstration couldn’t be much better. Nancy points as [...]

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