If you don't know already, I love to cycle.  Our post on Bicycle Power Output is actually one of our most popular.  I love this time of the year because the Tour de France is currently going on and bike racing at home is in high gear (pun intended).  If you've ever watched the Tour, you notice...
We first wrote about the "Smart Grid" over two years ago, but in lieu of the recently failed attempts by Google PowerMeter and Microsoft Hohm to produce energy saving software platforms that appeal to residential customers I'm starting to wonder if homeowners are going to even care about the...
Porsche Boxster EV Engine Bay Happy Independence Day to our US readers! We hope that everyone will take this time to think of ways they can help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. As some of you know, I've been working on a project to take an older Porsche Boxster with a bad engine and...
Microsoft Hohm Rides into the Sunset This has been a big week in energy efficiency.  First, Google decided to exit the energy monitoring sector by shuttering their Google Powermeter product.  Within a couple of days of this announcement, Microsoft has also decided to shutter their energy...
Invest in the safest investment! This post is short and sweet, but is an intro into something I've explored in the past and I am continuing to explore: Why do people drag their feet when it comes to investments in energy efficiency?  My day job revolves around selling energy efficiency projects...
Happy Trails PowerMeter I first heard about Google PowerMeter in the spring of 2009.  I was telling a friend of mine who works at Southface about this idea I had for this website that would allow homeowners to compare their energy consumption with their neighbors and he said, "That sounds a lot...
Crack open the bank! When I googled "solar financing" I thought I hit the jackpot when I found this PDF "The Borrower's Guide to Financing Solar Energy Systems" prepared by NREL.   When I opened it up, I looked for a date when it released, but didn't find the date until skimming through all the...
I've always thought witnessed that if you don't pay for it, you don't care how it gets used.  A small percentage of the population will always be conservationist minded, but largely, the human species only conserves out of necessity.  We evolved to take in as many calories as possible when they...
Stop Apartment Energy Hogs! We've written extensively on monitoring your home energy consumption and for the most part it has catered to town-homes and single family homes.  But what about condos and apartments?  When I first got out of college I lived in a 2 bedroom apartment that was about 1,...
  Who's that good looking guy on TV? I'm not sure if you've heard yet, but I'm now a famous TV star. The paparazzi have been hanging outside my home all weekend. It's all because I of my 15 second spot on this week's energyNOW! episode (seen online or on Bloomberg TV channel...
I have over 100,000 miles on my Saturn Aura, and I'm beginning to look at a replacement.  Unfortunately, there aren't as many options for a new clean driving car as I would have hoped.  I would love to get an electric vehicle, but my job is in outside sales, and it requires me to drive large...
Last week Powell put up a post on the bad luck he's had with CFLs.  I've written extensively on my good experiences with CFLs, so I thought a video of my home CFL installations would help make my case!  I use the warm color EcoSmart brand sold by Home Depot and I'm very happy with them.  My...
Chicken Coop getting the finishing touches   I was in South Carolina a few weeks ago with a work acquaintance and while we were driving to our first appointment he mentioned his new project: a chicken coop.  I was very interested so after our meeting he took me to check it out and it...
The following post was written by Allison Bailes and can be seen on his blog Energy Vanguard under his post "How to Install a Branched-Drain Greywater System".  If you're not sure what "greywater" is, check out our intro "Greywater recycling: Why waste H20".  Allison used the greywater for...
First off, there is no law actually calling for the death of the incandescent.  The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 actually states something along the lines of : ... requires all general-purpose light bulbs that produce 310–2600 lumens of light be 30% more energy efficient (similar...
Variable Wattage LED This is the second blog chronicling some of my observations from LightFair 2011. See part 1 here. MSi variable wattage LED - iPAR-38 There was no shortage of LED lights at LightFair, and after walking around the hundreds of booths, it became hard to find something that stood...
I just got back from LightFair 2011 in Philadelphia and it was pretty eye-opening (yes, that's my attempt at a bad pun).  The event consisted of a massive exhibition hall, key note speakers, and many different classes.  I learned a ton, but below are some of the take aways that readers of...
Bad CFL Bulbs Last year, I posted on my lighting upgrade in my home.  I changed out over 100 incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs for recessed cans, chandeliers, outdoor fixtures and lamps.  Unfortunately, I had immediate negative results from several bulbs that came out of the box...
Reduce Reuse Recycle About four years ago I started a project to reduce my household water usage. I first posted about this effort last fall.  My focus has been on finding ways to reduce my water usage without changing my behavior or actively trying to conserve water.  My project encompassed the...
Low Rolling Resistance Tires It's time for new tires on my VW Jetta TDI commuter cars.  I have two identical black '99.5 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 5 speed sedans that I use for my 70 mile daily commute.  I alternate between the two cars, running biodiesel and fleet maintaining them to keep them on...

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