Tuesday, August 08, 2006

It's not easy being green, but it's a terrific thing

CNNMoney reports that homeowners are looking for ways to combat their mounting energy bills. This past spring I bought a truck-load of cellulose insulation and got an insulation blower rented to me for free with the purchase. Filling my attic to a minimum R-30 value has already reduced my energy costs 25% and should pay for itself within a year or two.

The article mentions a green builder from Austin, which isn't surprising given the city's green focus. For example Austin Energy provides free thermostat with programmable A/C levels based on the time of day; but the coolest feature is the passive radio communications used to allow the city to turn off AC units across much of the city, synchronizing the units to a staggered schedule during peak demand. This prevents rolling blackouts or brownouts which stress their equipment, and it also saves the city from having to purchase very expensive additional power at peak demand. It's green and financially savvy!

You can see from the Austin Energy website that they have numerous energy efficiency programs, including a solar panel promotion with amazing rebates and surplus energy deduction that allows an installation to pay for itself within approximately seven years.

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