Decade of Climate Action: Celestia Begins

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Apr 16, 2014 1:34:19 PM

Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the third installment of its benchmark scientific study on climate change. There were no surprises in the report—the future looks bleak unless we take ambitious and immediate action towards reducing our global carbon emissions and changing our current energy portfolio.

The study deployed cutting edge modeling technology to research over 1,000 potential emissions pathways, and found that, without decisive action, our current emissions trajectory will likely lead to a 4°C (or more) temperature increase, causing increasingly dangerous super storms, wildfires, droughts, rising sea levels, and extreme temperatures. In this hotter world, accessible fresh water declines by 20% for a portion of the population, forests around the world—which are essential to carbon sequestration—are disseminated, and coral reefs die en masse.

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Topics: Climate Change, Celestia

Too Busy to Talk?!

Posted by Christina Birchfield

Apr 16, 2014 12:12:46 PM

I am calling out to all Green Remodelers. Please take a minute to tell us about your business.

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Topics: business management, remodeling

A Site Better

Posted by Juliet Grable

Apr 15, 2014 12:12:00 PM

Though construction sites can contribute many types of pollutants, including heavy metals, chemicals and oils, sediment is the biggest culprit. As any contractor visiting a job site after a heavy rain can tell you, runoff wreaks havoc when it courses over raw ground or plows through piles of topsoil. What’s more, some areas can stay bare for months, leaving them vulnerable through several seasons.

Fortunately, common-sense measures can reduce, if not eliminate, this problem. Structural solutions include silt fences, sedimentation ponds, erosion control blankets and temporary or permanent seeding. Non-structural practices like picking up trash and debris, sweeping sidewalks and streets, maintaining equipment and training staff and subs can go a long way to keeping pollutants out of any stormwater that runs through the site.

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Topics: water conservation, soil conservation, erosion control

What, How...and Where

Posted by Ron Jones

Apr 10, 2014 1:19:12 PM

Chalk it up to luck, I suppose, but a few weeks back we missed the only real snowstorm to hit our corner of the world this winter because we were traveling elsewhere on business. We received email reports from folks in the neighborhood that our hilly country lane was totally impassible due to ice and wet, deep snow plus plenty of downed trees, and their daily updates indicated that the situation remained unchanged for almost a week.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery, Disaster Planning

Nail Down the Benefits of Green Building

Posted by Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley

Apr 9, 2014 3:58:17 PM

Green builders have more sales tools at hand than some might think. While eco-friendly homes tend to cost a bit more than comparable buildings using conventional construction, builders typically can market the long-term benefits: savings in utilities costs, durability, quality of life, and the effect on the environment.

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Topics: energy efficiency, benefits of green building,, insurance, eco-friendly homes

London Calling: The U.K.’s Distributed Energy Revolution

Posted by Wyatt C. King

Apr 7, 2014 12:51:35 PM

Last fall, at a Conservative Party conference in the United Kingdom, Greg Barker, a Conservative Member of Parliament and the country’s Energy & Climate Change Minister, called for a revolution. “I want to unleash a completely new model of competition and enterprise,” he said. “I want to encourage a vast new army of disruptive new energy players to challenge the Big Six [U.K. energy suppliers] …A decentralized power-to-the-people energy revolution—not just a few exemplars, but tens of thousands of them. The Big Six need to become the Big 60,000.”

What an invigorating call to action and inspiring vision of the future! Tens of thousands of homes and businesses across the U.K., each generating its own power and sharing excess with the grid. It’s a compelling idea, one made all the more remarkable by the fact that it’s not really new. In fact, one might call decentralized—or distributed—power the oldest idea in the energy business.

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Topics: Policy, renewable energy, distributed electricity

Can Elon do it Again?

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Apr 3, 2014 9:06:00 AM

Elon Musk is changing the world. The visionary South African-born entrepreneur has radically changed the transportation sector through his groundbreaking companies Tesla and SpaceEx. His solar leasing company, SolarCity, is delivering affordable solar solutions to homeowners across the country. Now, Musk is poised to deliver a sea change in the battery industry, opening the door to massive advancements in clean technology.

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Topics: solar, solar leasing, electric vehicle, clean technology, renewable energy

Extreme Spring-Time Energy Savings with Geothermal Pool Heating

Posted by Jay Egg

Apr 2, 2014 12:53:00 PM

Spring is here, and the cooling season is quickly approaching. Pools that have been out of commission after our very cold winter are likely to stay that way unless we turn the heat on.  That can get expensive.

Stop for a moment and think of how many blow dryers, computers, cooking appliances, lights and people there are in your home that add to the cooling load.  These are all a potential source of energy that can provide domestic hot water and be used to heat spas and pools. With standard air source heat pumps or air conditioners, the heat generated inside your home typically goes out the return air ductwork and ultimately is exhausted through outside air exchange.

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Topics: Geothermal Heating and Cooling, Heating and Cooling

Four Consumer Trends Shaping the Future of Home Appliances

Posted by GE Appliances

Mar 31, 2014 12:07:54 PM

Many consumer appliance trends come and go quickly while others, such as stainless steel, remain popular for decades.

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Topics: LED, energy efficiency, appliances, connected home, green appliances

Get Ready for Big Data

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Mar 27, 2014 8:42:00 AM

In our fast-paced, ever-changing, technology-driven world, big data has become the Holy Grail. Tracking and understanding customer behaviors, preferences, and purchasing decisions is now serious business.

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Topics: Climate Change, Environmental Economics, Climate Data Initiative

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