Good To Be Green

Living Green For The Environment

Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

20
May
2013

How can Electric Floor Heating Mats Save you Money on Heating Costs

By Nick Johnson
When it comes to heating, most of the radiation systems fail to warm you up from head to toe. In chilly winters, you will notice that your upper body is warm, whereas you get cold feet. This is mainly because these radiators create warm air currents that ascent to the ceiling levels before descending on the ground. This raises the temperature in the upper areas of the room you are heating. On the other hand, underfloor heating mats provide you constant warmth without actually raising the air temperature abnormally. Since electric floor heating mats are required to heat between 22-26 degrees, they are more comfortable as compared to the radiators.

Electric floor heating is also better than conventional heating because release any dust mites or dust and help in reducing allergies. Also, they are not an eyesore like radiators. With this type of heating, there are no chances of getting hurt by hot and sharp edges of conventional radiators. Best thing about electric floor mats is that they work at low temperature, so you will see considerable reduction in your energy bills.
The electric underfloor heating mats and cables can be easily installed no matter what the shape and size of your room. Mostly, you can get DIY kits that come with detailed instruction manual so you end up saving hundreds of dollars in installation costs as well.

One important thing that you should keep in mind is getting a superior thermal insulation barrier for your concrete sub-floors. Heat energy travels in both upward and downward directions and concrete or cement flooring easily absorbs this energy. This can create a drag on the performance of your sub flooring. One a thermal insulation barrier is placed between the flooring and the heat source, it will automatically enhance the efficiency of the floor heating. In fact, the initial warm up time will decrease and you will end up saving good money. Proper insulation will also prevent your floor from undue heating.

Electric floor heating mats have a upper hand even when compared with different water heating systems because it doesn’t need hours of heating like latter does. You just need 30 minutes of controlled heating to reach a comfortable temperature. In fact, you can use digital programmable thermostat to set your schedule as well as temperature you want.

About the Author
Nick Johnson is a writer and frequent contributor for http://www.HeatTechProducts.com, an online retailer of floor heating mats.

bibi

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17
Jun
2009

If you’re thinking about ways to make your own power and getting off the grid even partially, you have several readily accessible options for which the Government is willing to give you a tax credit of 30% of your cost. Making your own Power does not mean that you have to generate “all” the power for your home, there are options for every taste and pocketbook.

  1. Photovoltaic  Systems
  2. Residential Small Wind Turbines
  3. Solar Water Heating
  4. Geo Thermal Heat Pump

SOLAR Power Systems: Going Solar used to bring to mind expensive and cumbersome equipment, that would make it feasible only for those with deep pockets and dedicated environmentalists. But as time has passed Solar Power has become more and more affordable and less and less intrusive.

  • Photovoltaic Systems: solar electric or photovoltaic technology uses the sun’s energy to make electricity for the whole home and possible more that you can sell back to your Local Energy Company. In essence you become your own utility company. Solar Modules are an investment and add immediate and long-term value to your home.
  • Solar Water Heating: can cut your water heating bills in half. Solar water heaters come in a variety of designs, all including a collector and storage tank, and all using the sun’s thermal energy to heat water. A recent study done on Solar Water Heating systems shows that it has a payback period of just two years.
    • Type of collectors and the circulation system.
      • Batch collectors
      • Flat-plate collectors
      • Evacuated tube collectors
      • Direct systems
      • Closed-loop, or indirect
      • Active, or forced-circulation
      • Passive systems

Residential Small Wind Turbines:

  • A wind turbine system, is installed on top of a tall tower, collects kinetic energy from the wind and converts it to electricity that is compatible with a home’s electrical system. Typically it can lower your electricity bill by 50 to 90 percent.
  • DIY Wind Power Projects

Geo Thermal Heat Pump:

  • A Geo Thermal Heat Pump uses the earth as either a source of heat in the winter, or as a coolant in the summer. This design takes advantage of moderate temperatures in the shallow ground to boost efficiency and reduce operational costs.

Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credits

Consumers who install solar energy systems (including solar water heating and solar electric systems), small wind systems, geothermal heat pumps, and residential fuel cell and microturbine systems can receive a 30% tax credit for systems placed in service before December 31, 2016; the previous tax credit cap no longer applies. For More Info Energy Department.

If making your own Power is not an option for you right now, you can direct your energy dollars towards renewables by purchasing “green power.” This may be an option through your utility company, check out the EPA’s Green Power Locator.

bibi

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11
Sep
2008

Tonight September 11th there will be a town hall meeting in Salt Lake City , Utah to discuss America’s dependence on foreign oil and the need for an Energy Plan now. If you can make the meeting go, if you cannot watch the Webcast.

Town Hall Meeting

Time: September 11, 2008 at 5pm
Location: Salt Palace Convention Center
Street: 100 S. West Temple - Room 255
City/Town: Salt Lake City
Event Type: Town, Hall, Meeting
Organized By: Pickens Plan

WEBCAST - Town Hall meeting with T. Boone Pickens - Salt Lake City, UT

Time: September 11, 2008 at 5pm
Location: http://www.pickensplan.com/webcast/
Website or Map: http://www.pickensplan.com/…
Event Type: WEBCAST
Organized By: Pickens Plan

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9
Sep
2008

Calling all restauranteurs!!!

Yep, you heard right. There is a company in Colorado called FoodServiceWarehouse.com started by an avid group of environmentalists whose mission is to help the restaurant industry to become more environmentally responsible. They have created an industry leading certification program aimed at helping commercial kitchens cope with the costs and complexities of going green. The program features educational resources, rewards and the industry’s only free certification process, modeled after, and fulfilling credits for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

In order to show their dedication in helping commercial kitchens slash energy costs, conserve water and reduce their environmental impact, they are giving away a green commercial kitchen worth up to $40,000 to one qualifying kitchen.
Here is where you can go to sign up for the Green Commercial Kitchen Giveaway…

Good Luck…

commercial kitchen giveaway leed certification

bibi

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7
Sep
2008

Part of the Pickens Energy plan is to use wind to power 20% of the electricity for the country. See what happens to a town that is already on that track: Sweetwater, Texas was becoming a sleepy town starting to lose it’s residents do to a shortage of jobs, but it received a shot in the arm when a large wind power facility was built just outside of town. This has brought in new construction jobs, maintenance and manufacturing jobs and more spending power into the local economy. It’s not only good for the environment but also for the economy. Check it out…


Find more videos like this on PickensPlan

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3
Sep
2008

In the midst of high oil prices and global warming scares, a 100 mpg car sounds like a dream, but it may not be for long. The X-Foundation has put together a contest with 10 million dollars in prizes, for the group that comes out with the first 100 mile per gallon vehicle. The contest mission is to inspire and promote innovation to come up with cars that are super-energy efficient, affordable, safe for people and the environment, “not just science projects.”

The winning vehicle will have to have gas mileage that exceeds 100 mpg or the equivalent of any other fuel source. Each team will have to go through a rigorous qualification process that will take a look at not only gas mileage but also costs, features, production capabilities, consumer friendliness, safety and meet strict emissions standards. After being chosen each team will race their cars at 2 cross-country stage races that will take place in 2009 and 2010. The winner will be chosen by the overall time, while still meeting the mpg and emission standards.

So far 93 contenders have signed up for the challenge but only one major manufacturer has taken up the challenge, and that is Tata Motors, India’s largest automobile company.

More detailed information on this contest can be found in this interview with the Auto X-Prize senior director, John Shore.

bibi

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4
Aug
2008

Save Energy On the Road

Current high gas prices are giving people even more incentive to increase fuel efficiency. Plus, using less gas by following these tips will also help reduce smog and emissions that contribute to global warming:

Change your air filter. Cleaning your air filter regularly can improve your gas mileage significantly. Don’t speed. Being a good driver can save you some dollars at the pump. Speeding uses extra gas. Rapid acceleration and hard braking are also inefficient and lower your gas mileage.

Cruise control. Using your cruise control will keep you driving at a more consistent speed and can generally improve fuel efficiency.

Turn your car off. Idling can use a lot of gas. Generally, it’s more efficient to turn the car off and restart when you are ready to go. If you are thinking of hitting the drive-through, consider parking and picking up food inside. For short waits, put your car in neutral to avoid burning gas.

Inflate tires properly. Car tires that are under-inflated will lead to poor gas mileage. You can often find the correct pressure for your car printed on the edge of the driver’s side door.

Mileage still too low? Consider getting a tune up. A tune up will generally make a modest, but sometimes significant, improvement in your miles per gallon.

You can find these tips and more in Diane MacEachern’s new book, Beat High Gas Prices Now!

“Earth Share, a federation of America’s leading non-profit environmental and conservation charities, promotes environmental education and charitable giving in workplace employee giving campaigns. For more tips and to find out how your workplace can help the earth, visit www.earthshare.org or call 1.800.875.3863″

bibi

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23
Jul
2008

T. Boone Pickens sounds like he could be a country singer, he’s even got a little bit of a twang, but he’s singing the “we are addicted to foreign oil blues…”

If you’ve never heard of T. Boone Pickens, he is a billionaire who made his money in oil, mergers and acquisitions of oil companies and is often referred to as a corporate raider and greenmailer. He is also known as an activist in the political arena as well as an animal rights champion and a philanthropist in the humanitarian and education causes.

According to his bio on Wikipedia, Pickens has been talking about alternative energy sources to oil since 1997, when he “began touting natural gas as the best vehicular fuel alternative because it’s a domestic resource”, pushing for Nuclear Energy and other Alternative Energies such as wind power. Now this is also around the time that he formed a corporation now called Clean Energy that owns and operates natural gas fueling stations from British Columbia to the Mexican border.

That being said, his personal reasons for coming up with this plan may seem partially self-serving, and only he knows the answer to that. It’s not a bad plan, maybe not a perfect plan but it is a plan, we went through  a similar thing back in the 70’s, let 30 years lapse without a plan and here we are again. I believe a plan is better than no plan, anything to get the oil monkey off our back, out of pockets and out of our air.

Check it out for yourself go to his website and see what you think, get involved if you want…Pickens Plan

bibi

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9
May
2008

agreenhome.jpg

Next time you think about remodeling any part of your home or maybe even building your new home, Think Green first. Whether you will be putting down a new foundation or changing the Blinds in your home there is always a Green alternative. Here’s a checklist that can help jog your imagination.

  • In the Bathrooms, use high performing shower heads which use 1-1.5 gallons per minute/ 60% less than traditional shower heads.
  • Thinking of repainting the house? Think No-VOC Paints. VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds which are toxic.
  • Keep your attic cool by installing a radiant barrier to keep the heat out.
  • If you are building new or gutting rooms, remember proper Insulation is key to energy savings.
  • Taking into consideration your window coverings is often overlooked, but good Blinds or room darkening curtains can help keep the heat out and keep you cooling bills down.
  • Remodeling the kitchen? How about a recycling center in the kitchen making it easy and a good habit for everyone to learn. These can usually be installed right in the cabinets. And if you want to get fancy there are even Kitchen Composters out there.
  • Changing your flooring? Consider engineered wood, especially ones that use recycled materials.
  • Redoing the landscape? Think water conservation in your new garden. Use indigenous plants whenever possible, and consider a drip system to compliment your sprinkler system for those areas that don’t need quite that much water. Check out Xeriscaping and also remember to capture and reuse rainwater.
  • Consider a Tankless Water Heater. They heat water on demand rather keeping the whole tank of water hot constantly. A lot of savings there.
  • Use Solar Energy where you can, even for heating the pool.

Please leave any other suggestions in the comments…Thanks…


energy efficient green building

bibi

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8
May
2008

green-machines-392.jpg

Every little bit that we can do to conserve helps the environment and saves money too. Here are some tips for Greening your machines.

  • Power Management: he power consumption from leaving our computers on all the time, is staggering. If your in the habit of turning off the computer when you go home from the office that’s great, but we forget about the energy that is still being used when the computer is not being used, while you go to lunch, or are doing something else. “the biggest savings come from enabling Monitor Power Management (MPM) and Computer Power Management (CPM) to put monitors and PCs into low power states when not in use. This saves between $20 and $100 per PC per year, and requires little staff time and capital expenditure.” Read More
    • Tips for reducing power consumption in computers and peripherals: from EDTECH.com
    • Check your computer manual to find out how to turn on your energy-conservation settings.
    • Screen savers do not reduce energy use for monitors. Instead of screen savers, automatically switch to sleep mode or manually turn off monitors to save power.
    • Energy Star computers and monitors only save energy when power management is activated on the computer.
    • To maximize power savings with notebook PCs, put the AC adapter on a power strip that can be turned off because the transformer in an AC adapter draws power even when the notebook PC is not plugged in.
    • Don’t forget peripherals and components — printers, copiers, scanners, processors, motherboards and power supplies all have potential energy-saving features
  • Bamboo, Crank and Solar Powered cell Phones: With all the millions of cell phones out there only about 10% get recycled.
    • How about a phone made out of sustainable Bamboo with a cranking charger
      • The case of the phone is totally degradable, after removing the battery, antenna and the print board it can be thrown in the compost bin. The “Bamboo” is made out of bio-plastics of renewable raw materials such as corn, and bamboo which is also a renewable resource.
      • The battery can be recharged with muscle power. It comes equipped with a cranking charger and a monochrome display for maximum efficiency. Read More
      • Check out this great Solar Powered Charger
  • Energy Star Appliances: When you need to replace appliances, of course go with the Energy Star Label, it will save you about a third on your energy bill. That’s a significant savings.
  • How good is your HDTV at saving Energy: Before you buy your new HDTV, consult the following chart to see how energy efficient the new TV will be. HDTV power consumption compared
  • Get Paid to Recycle Electronics: There are companies out there that will pay you for mailing in old electronic devices and others have buy back program. Here is a list of a few.
  • Mail-In Program Free of Charge: The Post Office has come out with a pilot program that allows customers to recycle small electronics and inkjet cartridges by mailing them free of charge. Check it out: USPS
  • Find a Responsible Recycler: Recycle your old electronics with an Environmentally Responsible Recycler:

That’s all for now…

electronics environment ewaste green machines high tech trash recycle

bibi

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21
Apr
2008

earthdayeveryday.jpgearthdayeveryday.jpgearthdayeveryday.jpg

In honor of Earth Day: Take a few Green Steps…

Give the Earth Some Love…

Walk to work or play. With the price of gas these days, taking this step won’t be as difficult as it seemed before. Take a walk on the wild side, walk to work, the grocery store, the library, the kids school. Who knows maybe you will like it, and will continue the trend, it’s not only good for the environment, but also good for your health.

Earth Day Footprint : Want to know what kind of a footprint you are leaving on this earth? Check out the Ecological Footprint Quiz over at Earthday.net, and here is a version of a Ecological Footprint Quiz for Kids over at Kidsfootprint.org

Buy Local but watching what you buy is just as important: If your food comes from afar, you can be sure that energy was spent to get it to you, but also the type of food you eat can make a difference… Check out this article over at GreensSAHM.comit’s not so much where your food comes from, it’s what you’re eating.”

Read Green and Make Some Money while your at it: Intriguing book by author David Bach discussed over at TheGoodeLife.com covers 50 Simple Ways to Save the Earth (and Get Rich Trying)!

Save Gas: Don’t Turn Left: Huh????? Groovy Green has a story on how UPS saves gas…UPS-No Left Turns Allowed

It’s not all about “Good Energy Policy” : Follow the reasoning of the “No Impact Man” for whether Individual Lifestyle Changes will make a difference.

Get rid of those water bottles: give up convenience for the environment. Here are 5 good reasons to give them up on Earth Day… from LighterFootstep.com

Lose those Hazardous Chemicals : Learn to identify hazardous chemicals and replace them with greener, healthier ones that do the job just as well. Clean Green to Stay Healthy and Save Money

Earthday is the perfect day to start a garden, an Organic Garden at that. Here are some great tips for doing just that.

Put the Three R’s to work: How about Reduce,Reuse, and Recycle. Salvage Yard finds are a great place to start putting some Green Style in your home…

Noise Pollution: Imagine a world without noise. GreenLivingTips.com makes some great points on the effects of Noise on the Environment. Make Earth Day your No Noise Day…

Anything you and I can do, will help…

earth day environment green day

bibi

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20
Mar
2008

In case you haven’t heard yet, Lights Out America and Earth Hour are events that started last year where many cities throughout the U.S. and the world turned off their lights simultaneously for one hour. It was a great success and a trend has begun.This year the event will be happening on the same day, March 29th world wide…If you would like to join the Global Lights Out Movement, all you have to do is turn your lights off for one hour on March 29th, from 8-9pm, wherever you are.

Check out all the cities involved: Is your City Involved?

Sponsor a candlelight dinner at home or better yet your favorite restaurant, invite your family and friends. Make it fun… Make it every year, make it more often…

If you’d like to get more involved in this and other projects, Sign up at Earth Hour, Join the world…

Tell your friends…send them this link: Join Lights Out Movement.


earth-hour.jpg

Earth Hour Lights Out America Lights out movement

bibi

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10
Mar
2008

oil-drilling.jpg

The price of oil is at an all time high of $105 a barrel. Opec’s decision not to increase production has not helped along with the steady decline of the U.S. dollar. The price oil is about 75% higher than it was a year ago. If that is not enough impetus to move in the direction of alternative energies, I don’t know what is.

We are being held hostage to our own addiction to oil, it is our drug of choice. Let’s at least admit that. We send billions of dollars to foreign nations to purchase oil, money that could otherwise be put to work right here. While the middle east is experiencing an economic boom due mostly to high oil prices, the U.S. and Europe are facing recession. Didn’t the same thing happen back in the 70’s. I was a kid but I remember the lines, do you? By not addressing our dependence on oil, the story repeats itself and here we are again in the same place we were almost 40 years ago. We didn’t fix the problem then , and the problem is still not fixed. What are we waiting for? Can we muster the vision that the last generation didn’t have?

The House of Representatives has passed bill H.R.5351 adding $18 billion dollars in new taxes on the biggest Oil companies over a 10 year period, which comes to $1.8 billion dollars a year. Sounds like a lot of money, but lets not forget the oil companies earned $123 billion just last year. The purpose of the extra taxes is to put them to work on renewable energy industries, keeping jobs and the money here helping the economy. The bill also gives credits for more efficient homes and Plug-in Gas/Electric Hybrid cars. Read More.

Unfortunately it now has to pass the Senate and then Bush is already expected to Veto it. A similar bill passed the House last year but stalled in the Senate.

How about we give it a push, let’s let the Senate and the president know how we feel about our dependency on foreign oil.

E-mail your Senator… Your Senator Here

alternative energy h.r.5351 oil prices

bibi

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4
Feb
2008

earth.jpg

Bush’s Budget proposal came out today and the verdict is…

Highlights for the Energy Department’s Budget Proposal:

  • $400million to research and $241million to demonstrate technologies for cost-effective carbon capture and storage for coal fired power plants.
  • $1.65 billion in investment tax credits and loan guarantees for commercial deployment of technologies central to carbon capture and storage
  • $242 million for Nuclear Power 2010
  • $302 million for Advanced Fuel Cycle
  • $156 million for making Power more competitive by 2015
  • Supports vehicle technology program: lithium-ion batteries, plug-in hybrids, drive-train electrification
  • Doubles the capacity of Petroleum Reserves to protect against oil disruptions
  • Renewable Hydrogen: $209 million for Power Marketing admin and $3.5 billion for Bonneville Power Admin.
  • $4.7 Billion to the Office of Science for future energy technologies and environmental solutions
  • $5.5 billion to clean up Nuclear research and weapons productions sites.
  • $495 million for the Yucca Mountains Nuclear Waste repository
  • $6.6 billion for the transformation of Nuclear Weapons into smaller, safer , more secure and less expensive
  • $1.8 billion for the Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation

If you’d like to read the whole Department of Energy Budget Proposal: Energy Budget

If you’d like to see a summary of the whole budget: Budget Summary

budget energy budget environment federal budget

bibi

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