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Matt Power

As a veteran reporter, Matt Power has covered virtually every aspect of design and construction. His award-winning articles often tackle tough environmental challenges in a way that makes them relevant to both professionals and end users. An expert on both building science and green building, he has a long history of asking hard questions--and adding depth and context as he unfolds complex issues.

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Recent Posts

New App Compares Real-Time Sustainability of Cities, But Will It Influence Behavior?

Posted by Matt Power

Mar 5, 2015 8:52:00 AM

The free app, launched in Marin County, Calif., can visualize data about solar installations, etc. using GIS mapping. 

THE APP USES 12 GREEN METRICS, gathered primarily from utilities, to show how much progress a city is making toward reduction of energy use, waste deposited in landfills and so on.

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Robinson Crusoe Would Love This: A Floating Pump That Uses Wave Power to Produce Electricity

Posted by Matt Power

Feb 17, 2015 11:51:00 AM

It's called the Searaser, and its inventor believes it's a viable way to provide power to oceanfront homes.

IN THE FIRST TRIAL of his prototype device, British inventor Alvin Smith knew he was on to something, when he pumped about 112,000 liters of water over a 24-hour period. The pump, which looks like an ocean buoy, contains a floating piston system that responds to waves as small as 6-inches high.

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The Phantom Menace: Power-Sipping Gadgets Have Neutralized Decades of Electrical Efficiency Gains

Posted by Matt Power

Feb 5, 2015 4:17:00 PM

Big culprits include smart phones and notebooks left on chargers overnight, set-top boxes and game consoles.

TWENTY YEARS of better insulation, more efficient windows, advanced HVAC technology have really paid off. Most homes use a lot less energy per square foot to heat or cool indoor air than they did in the 1970s. That's the good news. But the bad news is that during that time we've added electric gadget after gadget to our "normal" household environment.

A few meager efforts have been made to reign in standby power waste. And of course, there are a new "power saving" plugs such as the : Belkin F7C016Q Conserve Power Switch, intended to shut down phantom power. But the responsibility really should go back to the manufacturer. The reality is that most consumers won't track or monitor how much electricity their dozens of devices are using, even if they are lucky enough to own a Kill-a-Watt power meter. This is not a minor issue. By some estimates, up to 75% of the power some home appliances use happens when the machine is idle.

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Quiz: Is Your Home Losing Its Value?

Posted by Matt Power

Jan 23, 2015 10:40:33 PM

 

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Paperless Billing for a Bank Card Can Kill Your Credit: and May Not Even Be Green

Posted by Matt Power

Dec 7, 2014 7:51:16 AM

Putting your faith in paperless billing with credit card companies such as Discover can expose your credit rating to extreme risk, and may not even have the green moral high ground.

LIKE MANY PEOPLE, I always assumed that paperless billing was a relatively risk free venture.  But now that I've experienced first hand what can happen when things go wrong. I'm going back to paper, for two reasons. First, I can't risk more damage to my credit rating. Second, I've been reading up on the poorly understood environmental impacts of "paperless" accounting.

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Santa Beware! Home Technology Has Changed.

Posted by Matt Power

Dec 2, 2014 12:57:00 PM

This letter is to let Santa (and his reindeer) know that he's going to have trouble, if he expects to follow his old routine in our modern house.

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Proposed Floating City "Expands" Into Forests, Farms and Homes

Posted by Matt Power

Dec 1, 2014 12:07:06 PM

A Japanese firm has created plans for a self-sustaining city that can float in the Pacific, complete with forests and gardens.

The Shimizu Corp. likes to think big. One of their latest brainchilds is something called Greenfloat. It's a new environmental city concept that, from a bird's eye view, resembles the bioological process of cell division.Tha't no accident.

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Global Economic Collapse Is Imminent, Say the Australians

Posted by Matt Power

Nov 14, 2014 8:43:00 AM

The Australians aren't pulling any punches when it comes to forecasting the end of life as we know it. In a new report titled "Is Global Collapse Imminent," the Univ. of Melbourne suggests that the end of cheap oil will soon result in a major breakdown of the the status quo.

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Computer Plays the Strange, Secret Music of Trees

Posted by Matt Power

Nov 10, 2014 12:00:00 AM

A computerized device converts tree ring data into melodies and sounds.

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Hilary Clinton's Unforgiveable Sin: Fracking the World

Posted by Matt Power

Sep 6, 2014 5:55:00 PM

Hilary Clinton takes a lot of heat politically, much of it personal, mean-spirited and unfair. Too often the criticism has to do with her personal life, her character and other celebrity-type issues that are frankly irrelevant to her position as U.S. Secretary of State.

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