14 Dec
2011

Home Energy Audits – Home Energy Assessments

Posted by Norman F, December 14th, 2011

Housing accounts for 20% of total US energy use with heating a cooling consuming a whopping 44% of residential energy use.

Home Energy Audits or Home Energy Assessments can help pinpoint energy problems in your home and offer you fixes that will save you energy and money. These professionals should provide you with analysis of your home, a list of items that need fixing, the cost to fix them, and the estimated cost savings.

We recently had a Home Energy Audit done, to comply with the Energy Upgrade California Rebate Program. Being environmentally conscious, we wanted to ensure everything in to save energy.

SDI Energy Audit November 2011

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wood stove heater

The Federal Tax Credit for Energy Efficiency – Wood Stoves, Pellet Stoves, Fireplace Inserts expired in 2011. The President chose not too extend this tax credit. Local energy utility companies like PG&E have their own energy efficiency rebates. To find out if rebates or other incentives are available in your area, visit the ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder.

What other rebates are available?

Delta County, Colorado has a rebate. Other areas have change-out programs.

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31 Aug
2011

Federal Tax Credit for Energy Efficiency – Water Heaters

Posted by Norman F, August 31st, 2011

water heater, energy efficient water heater

The Federal Tax Credit for Energy Efficiency – Water Heaters expired in 2011. The President chose not too extend this tax credit. Local energy utility companies like PG&E have their own energy efficiency rebates. To find out if rebates or other incentives are available in your area, visit the ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder.

Be sure to check out our reduce water heater use, water saving tips and ways to save energy.

The 2011 Federal Tax Credit

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8 Jul
2011

New Method Green Pouch packaging for Refills

Posted by Norman F, July 8th, 2011

method cleaner plastic pouch

Method has a new way of packaging refill products such as their foaming hand wash refill and their laundry detergent, and dish soap. They use a pouch with easy pour spout that they claim uses 83% less footprint than a rigid plastic bottle.  It uses less plastic, energy, and water. Refills are in widespread use in Europe, where they are more green and landfills are as plentiful.

The pouch itself is a stock pouch from Winpack International, so more vendors may start using this packaging. Consumers can save money by purchasing refills, while companies can actually make more money. Less fuel is utilized transporting packaging and essentially water. Concentrated refills save even more money, and just require the addition of water.

It will take some time for consumers to accept refilling. Hand pump soaps are one area in which refills have gained acceptance.

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15 Jun
2011

Toxic Bubble Tea – Tapioca Pearl Tea – DEHP

Posted by Norman F, June 15th, 2011

quickly bubble tea, tapioca pearls

There is currently a scare over toxic ingredients in Bubble tea or Tapioca pearl tea that originated in Taiwan and is now available throughout Asia and in many American Asian communities. The problem originated in Taiwan because chemical firms sold clouding agents and jams using plasticizers that were used by some firms serving this drink. It was also found in other foods including dietary supplements, energy drinks, juices and jellies. Possibly carcinogenic and reproductive problem producing chemicals DEHP and DOP were present in these tainted items. The fraud for one company started way back in 1996.

Passion fruit juice, mango juice and lychee juice produced by Possmei were on the DEHP contamination related recall list. The company also supplies bubble tea ingredients, causing the scare.

The emulsifier is usually not added when making tapioca balls- a main ingredient of bubble milk tea — making contamination unlikely they stated.

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10 Jun
2011

New low cost LED Light Bulbs and LED Lighting

Posted by Norman F, June 10th, 2011

LED Light Bulb

Now that most people have accepted CFL light bulbs instead of traditional incandescent bulbs, a new technology, LED Lighting, is threatening to add a new wrinkle.

LED Light Bulb Advantages

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31 May
2011

Repairing Broken Electronics is Green

Posted by Norman F, May 31st, 2011

notebook computer, netbook, dell mini 9

Electronics eventually break down.  The dilemma is then repair or replace the item. If you item is under warranty, the decision is easy – get it fixed.  Remember that many credit cards will double your manufacturer’s warranty.  Check your credit card’s fine print.

iphone cell phone smartphone

Repairing Computers, iPods, iPhones

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D-Link DIR-655 Extreme N Wireless Router

Doing more with your router – Extending wireless range – Antenna Upgrade

If you are buying a new wireless router to get better wireless coverage or range, consider repositioning your current wireless router in a different spot and adding a 3rd party wireless antenna. We bought a 9dBi gain wirelss antenna than cost less than $10 and increased our wireless coverage.  Moving a Cable/DSL modem and/or Wireless router to a more centrally located room is cheaper and more green than buying a new wireless router. Mounting your wireless router high on the wall will maximize its range, although it may be a bit unsightly.

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12 Feb
2011

Georgia Power Energy Efficiency Rebates

Posted by Norman F, February 12th, 2011

Air purifier, Gas Furnace
New rebates have been added for 2012.

Utility Company Georgia Power has a bunch of programs and incentives to help save energy and money.

  • Have Georgia Power haul away that old refrigerator energy hog for FREE and get $35.
  • Up to $400 Rebate when you switch your gas furnace to an electric heat pump. Exp 3/31
  • $525 rebate when replacing an existing gas water heater with an energy-efficient electric Marathon water heater. Exp 12/31
  • Up to $700 in rebates for whole house improvements

Questions, call Georgia Power at 1-866-446-9250.

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7 Feb
2011

Dual Flush Eco Friendly Toilets

Posted by Norman F, February 7th, 2011

dual flush toilet

Old fashion toilets can use as much as 6 gallons per flush. We recently upgraded a toilet from a standard 2.5 Gallon per flush model to a new Toto Dual Flush model that has one button for a full flush at 1.6 Gallons (For #2) or half flush at 0.9 Gallons.  This toilet meets EPA WaterSense high efficiency toilet requirements.   It has a very good flushing mechanism that works a lot better than our decade’s old toilet.

Rebate

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